Before becoming a scriptwriter, there are articles or write up about scripts that one must read which will give tips on how to start as an aspiring writer. To become a professional writer, one also read further, learn new things which will help develop writing skills. All the knowledge we have about a particular thing, we exact the information from a particular source.
Script rules are something that must be followed that blend and improve the writing ability. Following these rules will certainly make one script more professional. These rules are just general rules that scriptwriters must strictly adhere to. Below are the general rules writer must follow.
Use FADE IN at the beginning of your script and FADE OUT at the end
A lot of upcoming amateur scriptwriters use these transitions wrongly by applying them at the beginning and the end of each scene. It is important to know these rules to avoid mistakes. Throughout the script (No matter the page number) FADE IN must only be applied once. (At the beginning) and FADE OUT must only be applied once (at the end of the script. This will indicate the beginning and the end of a movie. A writer can only use the transition DISSOLVE TO within scenes if need be.
Much information is not needed on the title page
The standard way of writing a title page is only the title of the script and the name of the writer. Producers or Readers don’t need much information on the title page. Writers make mistakes in adding other things like phone numbers, contact addresses, and others to the title page. If they need more information about the script, there are other means of getting across the person. Most movie production companies don’t appreciate much information on the title page. Therefore, writers should avoid adding other irrelevant information apart from the standard way of writing a title page.
- Avoid Camera Directions
Producers or Directors don’t appreciate scriptwriters telling them what to do or how to do their work. This is why it is important to try as much as possible to avoid the use of camera direction. Writing camera directions discourages the producer from working with your literary piece. Camera Direction like ZOOM IN, EXTREME CLOSE UP, and others should be avoided. It is the duty of the producers or director to carried out the camera direction.
- Proper script Format
Scripts are not just written, there is a standard format that the writer must follow to show some level of professionalism. Newbie writers always make the mistake of not following the standard format of writing a script. For example not properly writing the slugline or omitting the important component that forms a script as a whole. A proper script format contains the Scene heading, Action, Character, Dialogue, Parenthetical (if need be). The writer must know the format of scriptwriting which will help increase the writing ability.
- Character name should all be in CAPS in their first appearance
The first time a character is being introduced, mainly the major character, the name of the character should be capitalized. This is the standard format of writing a script. Capitalizing the character’s name in the first appearance is a standard way of introducing the character to the reader in which the reader should be on the lookout for the character. This rule is for the major character or character that highly contributes to the development of the script. The name of a character who is an extra or a minor character who has no line to render should not be capitalized.
- Do not change character’s name
This error is common among both amateur and professional writers who are careless about their writing. Character name must not be changed. The writer should learn to be consistent in the use of character names. The name of the character used at the beginning of a script should be the same name that must be used till the end of the script. For example, ENUGBE FELIX is a name of a character introduced on the first appearance, the name should be the name the writer must use till the end of the script. The writer must not use only ENUGBE or FELIX only but rather the full name of the character should be used throughout the script.
- Use Your character to develop the story
As a writer, you need to be creative enough to develop the storyline via the character. Character is one of the important elements. Most writers find it use their character to develop the story. Every character has roles to play in the story. It is now left for the writer to determine the level of their impact in the story via the roles they take. Writers need to be creative with the way they use the character in the story especially the major character.
The above are the general rules in scriptwriting that should be followed by writers. This will increase their level of professionalism. Following these rules will help amateur writers to be professional in their writing ability and also blend the professional writers to be more efficient.