Beginners Guide To Script Writing | Part One

Hey guys, welcome to the script writing outline. If you are reading this, it’s because you have passion for creative writing and want to hone your skill. It could also be because you want to explore the world of scriptwriting haven previously been exposed to prose writing, or you could just be a first timer who wants to give script writing a go. Well, what ever the case is, you are in the right place.

1. A notebook
2. A pen
3. Your undivided attention.
Ready… Let’s go.

Script writing is quite vast. A single workshop session is definitely not going to be enough to even scratch its surface. So I’ll be narrowing down this workshop to the art of writing for film and television also known as SCREENWRITING.
Do you have a story that you feel will be awesome to watch on TV but you don’t know how to go about writing it, this workshop is for you. Here you will learn how to generate ideas, structure and format of a screenplay, general rules about screenwriting and practical sessions. By the end of this workshop, you should be ready to write your own 10 minutes screenplay.
If you know anyone who needs this resource material, please do forward it to them.

Still on definition of terms, scriptwriting and screenwriting are sometimes used interchangeably but there is a place of separation. Scriptwriting refers to the general art of creative writing for TV, stage or radio. Screenwriting is exclusive to just film and television. Long story short, writing for film or television is known as screenwriting. A film script is called a SCREENPLAY.

Thinking Visually

Let’s do a little exercise. Think about your favorite movie…
are you thinking already?
Most likely, you will remember a scene. It could be that epic scene in AVENGERS ENDGAME when all the super heroes came back, or the unforgettable scene when Arya Stark killed the Night King in season 8 of Game of Thrones. Yours could be the reception scene in Wedding Party or the death of Makanaki in King of Boys.
If you performed the exercise, you’ll realize that you remembered the story in images because film is a visual art form. And yet all films begin with a script. Words on a page, certainly, but words with a purpose: to create pictures.

There is a fundamental rule in screenwriting which is “show don’t tell”. A novel can take us on a journey into the subconscious of the character, and reveal his innermost thoughts and dreams, but a screenplay has to SHOW what a character is thinking or feeling through dialogue, action and other specialized effects.
If you are a prose writer seeking to delve into screenwriting, you should pay more attention to this session because writing prose is significantly different from writing for screen.
Verbs are the screenwriter’s best friend. Why? Because they are the action words. They’re the ones that help the reader of a script translate words to visuals and SEE an imaginary movie on the invisible silver screen in their head.
Let’s look at the following examples. Here’s an example of a perfectly functional – but bland – stage direction:

Now let’s replace the weak verbs with strong, active ones:

Better, right? “Trudges” paints a more vivid picture than “enters and crosses”. Same for “collapses” rather than “takes a seat”. And “drops his keys on the floor” says he’s too tired to care or make an effort. All of which make “He is exhausted after a long shift at work” unnecessary as we already get that from the stronger verbs.
I will deal more thoroughly with thinking visually and how to adapt a novel into a screenplay in a separate workshop session. I’ll keep you posted on that. Moving on now.


How do screenwriters come up with ideas?
There is no direct formula used in generate ideas because different individuals have different things that stimulates their creative process. But the most common place to generate ideas from is the society and your immediate environment. A lot is happening around us everyday, suicide is on the increase, yahoo boys becoming for vocal on social media, Youths want to escape Nigeria, police brutality, Tonto dikeh and Regina Daniel’s drama (lol).
So look at society and you will see something to write about.
To help you further, here are a few steps to help you further because you are about to start writing your own screenplay.
1. Pick a genre. You can write on crime (Oceans 8), action (fast and furious), fantasy( Lord of the rings), comedy ( Wedding Party), horror (the conjuring), etc.
Choose your genre now.
2. What kind of stories excites you? I always tell beginners to write stories they love. If you don’t love a story, you won’t enjoy writing it. Writing then becomes frustrating and hectic. I personally don’t like writing love stories, I find it really exhausting. But give me an intense suspense filled story with doors mysteriously opening and voices under the bed, I will do justice to it. Hehehehe
Are we following?

TIME fOR AN ACTIVITY: Think of a theme that excites you that you would like to tell a story on. post them here let me see. Write down your theme or idea in your notebook. You are going to write a 10min screenplay on that theme or idea.

Now start to create your story. By now if you have chosen a topic to write about, some scenes, lines, actions will begin to flash in your mind.
Decide how many characters your screenplay will have, decide where the story will take place.
Write all of this down in your notebook.
I am waiting for you… (tapping my feet)

Let’s say your idea is about suicide. Write it down. It will have 3 characters, and will happen in Lagos. Who should commit suicide? Why did the person commit suicide? What lesson should be learnt from the story? A line from the script could be “I am fed up damn it, let me die”
Write out your rough ideas. It will start to make sense.

NOTE:Do this activity and submit via this mail,
When you actively participate in this lesson, we will review your work, help you develop it better and also give you certificate of participation

All Right Reserved
Ray Of Thought

One thought on “Beginners Guide To Script Writing | Part One

    Characters: The principal,Uche, Mrs Joy,Faith and Favour

    9:00am – Mrs Joy, wearing her smiles as always, moved with the slow confident gait of a successful lady into her classroom.

    9:01am – General class stood; good morning Ma, we are delighted to see you today. Thank you beautiful kids. Please sit; Mrs Joy said softly

    9:02am – Hah! A loud scream covered the classroom. It was a scream for attention. The scream of a soul dying. Everyone in class had turned to Uche’s corner with amazement. It was Uche!

    9:03am- Uche had fallen from his space. He was unconscious and laid like a distorted corpse within seconds. His shorts was stained with blood. A felt tip pen had been injected through his anus.

    9:04am- Uche! Mrs Joy called out loud. Grabbed him and rushed him to the school clinic

    9:05am- Faith,the class captain ran out to get the principal informed. Mrs Joy was with Uche

    9:06am- Everyone assembled at the muster point. They were murmuring so loud that they could hear each others voices

    9:07am- who placed the pen upright on uche’s seat? Come out! The principal cried out to Uche’s classmates. She stood only a few strides away from them.

    9:08am. – Speak up! She cried out again. The assemble was quiet as a grave yard. No one could speak.
    The victim was out like a light! He wasn’t there to speak either.

    9:09am – I will whip everyone of you. 50 strokes each,until I get the truth. She said bitterly, pulling out a long thick Cain.
    She began; Favour was unfortunately the first to be whipped. She had received only two hard strokes when Faith cried out.
    I did! It was a joke. I meant no harm,I am so sorry. She cried.
    Her cry was inhuman even to her ears.

    9:10am – The principal’s phone rang. It was Mrs Joy. ‘UCHE IS DEAD’

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