How to Become a Screenwriter?

A screenplay writer or a Screenwriter is someone who writes scripts for mass media such as films, television, series, or games. It is more than just writing scripts. It involves all the details such as lighting, staging, sounds, direction, and a lot more things along with the dialogues. It is, basically, framing the entire movie or a scene exactly like it would be presented. Usually, the film screenwriters work closely with the directors and produce the movie together, whereas the television screenwriters are independent and have more control over the creative process.

Becoming a screenwriter is not a piece of cake but it also does not require very high qualifications. There is no specific degree required but it is better to have completed at least a bachelor’s as it improves creative thinking and offers great exposure to the world.

Step-by-step Guide to become a Screenwriter

The following are the procedure to become a screenwriter step-by-step.

Step-1: Start Writing

Just like any other career would require daily practice and consistent efforts, Screenwriting also asks you to be eager to learn each day and keep writing. Start working on that first draft of your first short movie or a television series.

Step-2: Learn how to write

Screenwriting is not just a set of dialogues, it is much more than that. And for that, it is important to learn how to write and frame the story. Read as many screenplays as you can and then watch the accompanying movies to understand how it works.

Step-3: Know the Business

After you know how to write and what you write, you must also know ‘what sells’ in the market. Subscribe to the publications that are in this business and understand what is the market’s demand. Also it will be better to check out the work that sells and learn from it.

Step-4: Get into the Industry

After everything, the best addition to enhance your knowledge would be to gain the necessary exposure. Join the industry. Start at any level, Intern, part-time or full-time. The more time you spend working with people from your field, the more will be your learning.

Step-5: Networking

Networking has the power to help you rise to the top much faster than you can imagine. Especially in an industry like this, where the right person could have life-changing powers, it is very important to build connections that last and provide you with potential opportunities.

Step-6: Participate in the writers group

Working with people with similar backgrounds provides a lot of learning opportunities. Every person has a different mindset, a different story, and a lot of experience to offer. Plus it is also a great platform to discuss and debate the show ideas or even plan something for the future.

Step-7: Build a Portfolio

So that every time you find a person who is interested in your work, you have something to present to them. Write query letters and synopses for your projects. This shows your passion and is usually impressive.

Step-8: Sell your work

There are many ways to showcase your work to the targeted audience. Share your screenplays with your connections on IMDB pro. You can also upload your work on public platforms like InkTip where many executives and directors come searching for their fit. You can also submit your projects to Film festivals.

Read more: Top 5 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

What is the Standard Screenwriting Format?

There is a specific screenwriting format to be followed when writing. It is a 90-120 pages long document that is written in the 12-point Courier font size. To be specific, 8 1/2’’ x 11’’ bright white three-hole punched paper is used for the screenwriting.

The margin width is also with respect to each side of the page, i.e. 1.5 inch on the left side and 1 inch on the right, top, and bottom of the page. Each page consists of around 55 lines in total where the dialogue block starts from 2.5 inches on the left side of the page.

Also, the names of the characters must be in the uppercase and should be positioned at 3.7 inches from the left side. The page number is placed in the top right corner with a 0.5-inch margin from the page top where each number is followed by a period. The first page shall not be numbered.

Elements of Script Formatting

There are 8 elements of a script which are as follows:

  1. Scene Heading– This helps the reader to distinguish and identify the story’s geography. It is used to break up the physical spaces in screenwriting.
  2. Action– This is the description in brief of what is going to happen in the scene. This includes the visible and audible actions.
  3. Characters– When introducing a character in a screenplay, his name is written in uppercase. Then the screenwriter describes his age, looks, personality, and other traits.
  4. Dialogues– For each character, their dialogues will be set underneath their name. It does not require much formatting in screenwriting.
  5. Parenthetical– These are used inside the dialogue to show small actions or changes in mood or a habitual thing without having to start another action.

Vital elements of Screenwriting

A few fundamental elements that are required in a screenplay areTheme, Character, and the Plot. These three elements when kept in sync with each other can give you a perfect story to tell.

In simple words, the theme drives the character through the plot. It might sound simple but it is not easy.

Right from the start, it is important to keep these three parameters in mind. Screenwriting is the most important creative aspect of a motion picture and people need to understand its value. Because if the story is not good enough, it will lose its value and importance over time.

The AV Script

The Audio/Visual script is a part of screenwriting that involves breaking down a script into its audio and visual parts. It is the most nerve-wracking part of this creative process as one has to jot down the details as it would be every minute of the story. These are used when a script is not visual enough and more detailed information about these effects is needed.


Screenwriting is the most important phase of production and thus requires the most amounts of knowledge and experience to fully understand and deliver a good screenplay. Hopefully, the above-mentioned points will be helpful in getting started and improving each day. Work hard, look for inspiration around you, and do not forget to reward yourself.

Other Important Links
Join Screenwriting fellowship and Become the next great Screenplay Writer
Join Unlu Author Fellowship and Become the next great Author
Join Unlu Community of Lyricists, Singers, Composers, and Producers

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