Ephraim

New Member
Supporting Member
does anyone have any beginners tips on how to write a movie script? what screenwriting books you recommend? best screenwriting websites? what type of script to try writing first? how important is the screenplay format?

i've written short stories but that's about it so far. this would be the first time writing a screenplay and would like to try being a screen writer.

thanks!
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
There's a good thread on Screenwriting here:


I'm sure others will chime in. There's a lot of good screenwriters on this site. :)
 

oliviaaa

Member
Supporting Member
Honestly, what helped me the most when I first started screenwriting was reading a TON of scripts. Think of TV shows/movies you like and google "x screenplay pdf" or something along those lines, a copy should pop up for many. You'll get a feel for formatting and because you're familiar with how it translated on screen, you can see how things were written.
There are billions of screenwriting books out there that advertise the perfect formula (ex: Save The Cat) and they're not bad, but I didn't find them as helpful as reading scripts. Once the basics are down though, books like "Story" by Robert McKee, "Screenplay" by Syd Field, and Aristotle's "Poetics" are interesting as they delve into structuring a story, plot, conflict, characterization, etc...
For websites, I like forums like this and the screenwriting subreddit. Also, (kind-of a website?) podcasts. "Scriptnotes" is a good one with John August and Craig Mazin, both successful screenwriters.
Only you can answer what type of script you should try writing first. Just go with what you like, it'll make the process more enjoyable.
Formatting is pretty important, IMO. There are plently of free programs that will do it automatically for you (WriterDuet, Celtx). Haven't used them personally but I've heard good things about them.

Hope this was helpful!
 

Ephraim

New Member
Supporting Member
Think of TV shows/movies you like and google "x screenplay pdf" or something along those lines, a copy should pop up for many.
are any in particular your favorite scripts?

There are billions of screenwriting books out there that advertise the perfect formula (ex: Save The Cat) and they're not bad, but I didn't find them as helpful as reading scripts. Once the basics are down though, books like "Story" by Robert McKee, "Screenplay" by Syd Field, and Aristotle's "Poetics" are interesting as they delve into structuring a story, plot, conflict, characterization, etc...
i'll check those out. thank you!
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
There are billions of screenwriting books out there that advertise the perfect formula (ex: Save The Cat) and they're not bad
I've seen people mention this book before - it must have come out after I was in film school. :) I'll need to read that for sure. The cover looks funny.
 

oliviaaa

Member
Supporting Member
are any in particular your favorite scripts?
For TV, the "Freaks and Geeks" and "Breaking Bad" pilots are hailed as some of the best pilot scripts out there. I agree, they're definitely a good read. Another great TV script is the "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" pilot script. I'm a big fan of Amy Sherman Palladino's writing because her dialogue is so snappy. I also love the script for "Juno." It's SO good.
 

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