Screenplay Outline and Structure

Screen play structure

Okay, so you want to finish a screenplay, but you know that it’s missing something.  Your story is okay, but you know it’s not ready yet.  We all have been there.  Your script may not have a good structure. The photo above is the standard structure for a screenplay.  Each of the peeks are important moments in the story for the protagonist and the antagonist.  The script is broken up into fifteen minute intervals and the emotions that generally occur during those intervals are outlined on the bottom.  This is a very important structure for screen writers.  It shows how to break a script apart into three acts and it explains how to focus your story in a way that audiences, agents, and production companies expect.  In essences, it makes your script a better.  Simpler. And smarter.  If you want to see this structure and outline broken down and explained, go to youtube and search, “3 Act Screenplay Structure-Screenwriting Tips & Myths” and look for the uploader named, “Click Imagination“.   I considered attaching a hyperlink to the video within the photo above, but I’m starting to trust hyperlinks less and less the more I learn about them.  You should, too. So just go to youtube and search it yourself.  It’s really good!  Good luck writing today!

Writing a Screenplay?


Congratulations!  You’re on your way to a great screen play.  If you aren’t enrolled in a writing class right now, you may need some inspiration.  I often find lots of inspiration when I read someone else’s work.  Especially if that someone is pretty good.

FYI:  You can download a copy of television and movie screenplays if you just google a phrase like, “Pretty Woman script pdf”.   There are several sites that have already posted the original screenplay for many of the most popular shows on tv and film.

What is the advantage of reading one of these screenplays?  For one, you can get a great idea of what a published screenplay should look  and sound like.  Second, you get to see how working writers use “action” to write the cinematic  moments that directors put on film. And finally, you get to see what the competition looks like.

Here is a copy of the original screenplay for Pretty Woman.  But don’t stop here.  Find the pilot for BREAKING BAD, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, or CHEERS.   Or films like X-MEN, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, or YOU’VE GOT MAIL.  As a matter of fact, you should probably read them all.  Hopefully this will give you some inspiration, direction, and confidence as you complete your current script.  Now, go write something awesome!