You’ve come up with a high-concept story idea, created complex characters, and have plot points outlined. But before you rush to put your screenplay on the page, you need to know proper screenplay format.
Knowing how to format a screenplay is critical for executives to feel confident you can write professionally. Screenwriting format follows standard guidelines. When a writer deviates from industry standard formatting, a reader will quickly lose interest and most likely stop reading, thinking the story will be as amateur as the flawed formatting.
We’re here to help with this free download from Dave Trottier, AKA Dr. Format. Screenwriting Format Tips will help you learn industry standards and understand all the essentials for proper script formatting! Simply enter your email and get your copy of this free download.
Doesn’t screenwriting software automatically format a screenplay properly?
Yes and no. Even though software like Final Draft and Movie Magic greatly aid a writer in proper script formatting, there are still scenarios a writer will encounter that are a bit trickier than writing a simple slugline.
In our free download, Dave Trottier, AKA Dr. Format and author of The Screenwriter’s Bible, gives examples of how to format text messages, phone conversations, overlapping dialogue, wryles and more. Dave’s examples of formatting a screenplay will help you easily polish your screenplay like a pro.
Be sure you get your FREE download of Screenwriting Format Tips from Dave Trottier to learn proper screenplay formatting!
The Benefits of Knowing the Importance of Formatting a Screenplay
Getting a reader to champion your work all starts on page one. Don’t give them a reason to toss your script aside just because you didn’t follow a screenplay format guide.
Beyond script writing format, you should write in short, visual sentences, avoiding more than three sentences in a descriptive paragraph or heavy dialogue. Avoid the temptation to give camera angles or direction to the actors. A script is simply a blueprint for a director, actors, costume designer, set designer, cinematographer, etc.
Above all, a screenplay is not a novel. It needs to be a fast read, not weighted down with flowery prose. The reason writers are advised to stick to standard screenplay formatting principles is to keep the reader focused on your story and not distracted by improper script formatting, heavy dialogue and lengthy descriptions.
Everything you can do to keep a reader focused solely on the world you created improves your chance of success! It all starts with screenplay formatting.
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