Writing screenplays is a daunting task, and this is where you must ensure you know its fundamental rules well. You should study them as much as possible in order to avoid the most common issues of an amateur screenplay. It is prudent to get experience and get some kind of training from an experienced professional. This knowledge helps newcomers become aware of these mistakes, and they save a lot of time in arresting them.
Roger Wolfson – Know what the common mistakes of a screenplay are before you enter the industry
Roger Wolfson is a prominent figure in the entertainment, law, and political fields in the USA. He is a TV writer, a speechwriter for Presidential candidates and Senators of the US, a civil rights attorney, a scriptwriter, and a dedicated activist towards animal rights. He has been the Vice President of Channel One News and has even founded his own firm in the field of strategic consulting.
When it comes to scripting writing for both the TV and the movie industry, he believes the writing job is not so easy without training. However, this should not deter you from entering the industry. There are effective ways via which you can practice and hone your skills at improving your writing. It is prudent to be aware of the following problems that could spoil your efforts if you are not careful-
- The plot is underdeveloped- This means nothing is happening much with the story. If you closely examine successful screenplays, you will find that almost all of them inject a lot of conflict into the plot. This helps the storyline to grow and evolve. It compels the key characters to react and gives rise to more stories and interesting plots.
- The cast characters have been underdeveloped- Here, the characters have been created to move the plot. They do not invoke interest primarily because they are underdeveloped. The readers of a script wish to see these characters come alive. They should be like ordinary humans with layers, some flaws, and the ability to change as the story progresses.
- There is no escalation in the screenplay- Another problem that pulls down the success of a screenplay. It lacks the desired levels of escalation. Here, the conflict needs to grow and evolve. The characters, too, have to grow as this conflict progresses to make the storyline interesting.
As per Roger Wolfson a script generally gets a poor structure because there is an immense lack of preparation behind it. The structure should be there from the first act and never be meandering in nature. Look at the most successful TV series or movies today; you will find the first act invokes the audience’s interest to an amazing story or plot. The script should have a focus. The writer needs to have this focus from the start. If you overlook the core theme of the screenplay, you ultimately land up with a piece that lacks structure and does not give you the appreciation deserved.