Thursday, June 24, 2021

Common Elements of Good Screenplay


Sawyer Petrick has a degree in film from the New School, and is working toward becoming an established television or film screenwriter. In line with his aspirations, Sawyer Petrick has already started to make inroads on his chosen career by writing scripts for Whole Picture Films.

A script or screenplay is a story meant to be translated into film. Screenplays contain basic story elements that allow them to capture the hearts and minds of audiences.

One element is the character at the heart of the story. Through his or her actions a character drives the story to its progression and conclusion. A character should be realistic and well-conceived, but not perfect. Flawed characters are relatable and become the hook that allows audiences to become attached.

Every good screenplay shows the character going on an external journey and an internal journey. The external journey consists of what the character does in the story. The internal journey is what happens inside the character as he or she faces the challenges of the external journey. The internal journey shows the character growing and evolving as the story progresses.

The external and internal journey of a character happen within the context of the plot. The plot comprises the events that define what the story is about. There are numerous plot archetypes available to the screenplay writer. One popular archetype is the hero’s journey, where a character is compelled to undertake a quest of some kind. Another popular plot is the boy meets girl plot: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back.

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