How do I make a script that's a Masterpiece.?

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  • 1 month ago
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    The simple answer is there's no direct answer to this. Because it depends on so many factors, including factors out of your control such as your natural abilities, talent, and luck. And at the end of the day, it's a subjective craft. -Not everyone will agree that your piece of writing is a masterpiece. On the contrary, some will think it's a piece of garbage.

    So instead, let's say you just asked "How to write a SALABLE script?" even if you don't aim to sell it. Or "How do I write a PROFESSIONAL-LEVEL script?" The answer to that is.... more complex. And it also depends on your natural abilities, talent, and luck as well as your work ethic and self-discipline.

    In order to write a professional-level script, you first need to master the craft AND the business aspect of it. The two go-hand-in-hand. As a screenwriter, you're part businessperson. That's another thing. You master writing screenplays by, how shocking, writing screenplays. PLURAL - because first screenplays suck. That's just how it is. You see, it takes YEARS of very hard work writing, rewriting, learning, reading other screenplays, and getting plenty of feedback. It could take anywhere from 4 years (if you work your *** off every single day) and 20 years (if you don't). Although, unfortunately, the vast majority of aspiring writers will never get to a professional level, even after years of practice. That's the harsh truth. This is a tough craft. You don't just write a screenplay and you're ready to go. You need to gain a lot of knowledge, hone your skills, and develop your instincts - and you're not gonna get there just right out of the gate.

    To be a bit more specific on the "how," you learn from anything you can lay your hands on: Books, articles, podcasts, vids, professional as well as amateur screenplays, blogs, relevant FB/Twitter accounts, seminars/webinars, and so on. There's nothing out there that covers everything, not even film school. You'll have to glean the info. But it's all out there. Start by getting the hang of the basics: format and structure. Learn the industry standard and the rules. Learn the terms. Learn about outlines, beat sheets, loglines, synopsis, character development and arcs, and so on. There are dozens of things to cover.

    You also learn by getting tons of feedback (and applying it during many rewrites) from people who know a thing or two about the craft AND the business of it, people unbiased (meaning, NOT your family, friends, teacher or your dog). In addition to what I said above, you'll also need a thick skin, because you will not improve without getting feedback. It's a must.

    I do highly recommend that you sit every single day to screenwrite, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Do it before bed or early in the morning. Whenever you can fit it. Think of writing as exercising but for your brain. -If you don't keep at it on a regular basis, you'll lose the progress you've made. You'll lose muscle. And it's only going to get harder to get back to it. And you'll eventually quit... Writing works the same way. Even if you have no intention of pursuing a screenwriting career, that's the level of commitment it'll take.

    Generally speaking, the process of writing a screenplay is:You create the skeleton (outline, beat sheet, character bios, research the subject matter, etc. It can be as detailed as you need/want, but don't skip this step!) -> Write your first draft, which will suck because it's just a first draft -> Rewrite it into a second draft -> Maybe a few more drafts -> Polish, tighten, and proofread -> Get feedback -> Rewrite again. Polish, tighten, and proofread -> Done. Unless you need/want more feedback and more rewrites -> You move on to your next screenplay and repeat the process.You basically learn as you go. You get better and better. Your 4th or even your 10th screenplay will be the one that might be called "salable," if you indeed got what it takes.

    Equipped with the skills, the knowledge of the craft and of the biz, the instincts and the work ethic, you'll be able to at least tell when your screenplay is at professional standards and write accordingly. Will you write a masterpiece? Not necessarily. Actually, chances are you never will. It's far from that simple. Even experienced, professional writers can't pull it off. But at least you'll have the tools to do so.

    If you plan on pursuing a career in it, continue researching the subject. I'm attaching a link to my answer to a question on the subject. It's just the basics, but it should shed some light on it in case you're interested:

    The rest is YOUR job to learn.

    As a side note: it should be "how do I *write* a script?" You don't *make* a script. Also, you don't capitalize "Masterpiece." It's not a title. So in addition to everything I said above, add "improve grammar" to the list. In order to write screenplays at professional standards, your language skills need to be near perfect.

    Anyway, hope this helps.

    Source(s): I'm a screenwriter
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