The Regulars

The Inbetweens

Updated daily, VISUAL Magazine showcases a carefully curated selection of the most exciting and inspirational art, photography and film

Becoming A Screenwriter: It’s Not As Difficult As You Think

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Screenwriting; the art of turning stories into carefully written dialogue and action for the screen. It’s safe to say a screenplay can easily make a mare a film, but not the same way any other production department can. Being the backbone of any film, the screenplay has a lot of stake in the success of a film. I believe it’s one thing to have a compelling story and a whole under thing to create a screenplay out of it. What a lot of people don’t understand is the little action, body language and dialogue crafted in the script is what brings any film to life. If you’ve thought about starting your screenwriting career, but too afraid to start, or even too lost to know where to start from; this article is written for you and you alone. 

To launch your screenwriting career, you first have to write an actual screenplay. Write something, anything, as long as it tells a story that can be brought to life with a camera. If you don’t know what to write, I advise you to start writing anyway. Create a character, a location, an object or even a line of dialogue and build on it. Keep building around that first factor and before you know it you have 120 pages of nonsense. Hold on, every first draft is like unprocessed gold, the more you refine it, the more it reaches its full potential. So your first draft usually makes no sense, no clear direction, but that’s good, because you know there’s a direction at least. Create two more drafts from that and voila, you have your first finished screenplay.

However, before you write your screenplay you have to read other screenplays. Have an idea of what goes on in the minds of other writers. Understand different writing voices and use that to create yours. Read screenplays of your favourite movies. Study dialogue patterns; action words, things that make a great script, a great script. Its quite unfortunate many Nollywood scripts aren’t accessible to the public, but to be fair, a large amount of Nollywood movies don’t even use scripts in the first place. I wish I was lying but I’m not. So read screenplays from writers like Aaron Sorkin, Gillian Flynn or Quentin Tarantino.

No, it doesn’t make sense to have your screenplay sit in your laptop forever. The next step is selling your screenplay, which is the tricky part. Your screenplay is your first proposal, why people should invest their time and money to create your story. Nevertheless, if you’re confident about your story, you’re bound to have great people willing to help create it. If you’re not ready to sell your script, maybe you’re a bit insecure about your writing or skills, I advise you send it to trusted writers. Keyword TRUSTED, get honest feedback from others in the game. They’ll be able to point out a few errors in your writing before you make an attempt to hand it over to the big shots in the industry.

With these few tips, I hope you’ve gotten the motivation you need to finally open your Final Draft and create some magic. 

You'll also love

Here's what's for you

All you need to know about young Nollywood.

Trivia and quizzes around creativity

VISUAL Newsletter

Monthly news about film, photography and film.

Our picks for the best Afrobeat songs you need to hear