Screenplays that get made often contain three key elements: a strong concept and hook, bankable cast and an appropriate budget.
As a screenwriter, you only have control over the first element. A strong concept that is easily pitched will take your script higher up the pile. A good concept will eclipse technical issues with your script to a point.
Your script must be tight before circulating it in the marketplace. Scripts that sell have something to say. They have a clear story engine and each scene illuminates this engine. T
he story must have a clear setup, climax and resolution. This may sound obvious, but many scripts ramble on without a clear unifying element.
Make sure your script has some unique quality to pique the interest of the reader. They are often jaded by derivative scripts that are too reliant on produced movies.
The protagonist needs to have a clear arc. They also need a strong emotional underpinning that drives them. This is what your audience will ultimately respond to. The superficial plot is there for the protagonist to progress through their arc, not the other way round. The secondary characters require an arc too. Although they exist to dramatically service the protagonist, give them a distinct point of view, speech patterns, phrases and one liners.
Make sure their dialog rings true. Most features contain subplots to add dimension to the superficial story.
Give your subplot a distinct beginning, middle and end. Ensure your subplot also intersects periodically with your main plot. Otherwise you run the risk of it being a separate story.
Over 90% of submitted scripts are rejected. Do your best to ensure yours isn’t one of them.
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