I’ve got a GREAT movie idea, but I don’t know how to start?

And it’s no wonder, we see the end result of screenplays all the time on TV, at the movie theater and when we stream a film online, but very few people have actually READ a screenplay. And frankly that is where every aspiring screenwriter should begin – by reading.

The best way to go about this is to visit a website like or and download the scripts for a couple of mainstream movies. Then read them from cover to cover.

Now go online and find the film of the scripts you just read. With script in hand, hit the play button and really STUDY the first 10-15 minutes of the film.  Actively compare it to the script. Pay particular attention to the opening image that sets the story in motion or signals ground zero for the storyline.

The next thing you should do is examine the way the script moves the action from scene to scene. NOTICE the slug lines (INT: APARTMENT – DAY) and the often ‘brief’ descriptive text that follows it.

Pay attention to the DIALOGUE as it’s spoken by the actors, and compare it to what’s written. How much direction is in the script and how much seems to be the result of collaboration between actors and the director?

And finally, pay attention to PACING – how quickly the film & script move the action along as they ‘set up’ the story and the main character’s quest.

The more screenplays you read the more comfortable you will find yourself with the strict formatting structure once you sit down to put you own great idea to paper.

I hope this helps. And good luck with your screenplay – Wordsmythe can help !