Writing screenplays is said to be the most bruising of all forms of writing. The commercial pressures of film-making will bounce you between elation and despair, even before anything happens on a film set. The power of the director and the producers will probably mash your precious ideas beyond all recognition. Rewrite after rewrite will be required. The screenwriter will think wistfully of the independence of the novel-writer, lonely in his or her isolation, moulding creative output beyond the reach of tampering.

But screenplay writing can be satisfying, artistically gratifying – and lucrative.


Because they form the agenda for an industry involving a lot of people, screenplays tend to be written to a standard format. This is not difficult to master, and should not stand in the way of your originality. You could get a pretty good idea of the process in a day.

There is plenty of help online. For an overall picture, look at the article entitled "Screenwriting" on Wikipedia. Other useful sites include:

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