HOW TO...Use Writing Prompts to Write Scripts
Always have ideas bouncing around your head for a TV series/ film/play but not sure where to start? Never written a script before but want to give it a go? Now’s the time. Here are some writing prompts that are designed to get you writing and get the ideas in your head down onto paper.
You will need:
Something to write on (A computer/ tablet/ phone notes or go old school with pen and paper)
An open mind and a creative space!
Character’s A & B
If you want to write a script but have no idea where to start this prompt is a great way to get something/anything written and a great start on your road to dialogue!
There are two character’s, A and B. Character A is sat in the scene and Character B enters. As B does so, A stands up.
Write what happens next.
You do not have to name your characters (can keep them labeled A & B) and the challenge is to write two pages worth to script. GO!
This prompt can be used to get your head in the game, or the ideas that come out of the exercise can be carried on for more pages. Let your imagination run wild.
Freewriting to Music
Writer’s, no matter how well established, can find a blank page the most daunting thing of all. So having a prompt that gets you writing anything is a great way to get into a writing head space. Freewriting allows you to fill some blank space without having to think too much about what you are actually writing.
Choose three different songs and line them up to play one after the other. Once you have pressed play, you must write continuously (do not stop even if you’re just writing the same word over and over to fill in blank moments or hone into some of the song lyrics to help) until the 3rd song has finished.
Once you have finished, make sure to read what you have written. You might read utter gobbledegook or you might find a little gem hidden in there that sparks a new idea for your next script. Maybe you could use a sentence you have written as an opening line for a scene?
You can redo this prompt whenever you like and mix up the song choices for a different result.
Change The Ending
You can learn how to write great dialogue and great scripts from the ones that you have seen and love. Using other writer’s work to learn from is a great way to understand script structure, genre and writing style.
Think of your favourite film/book and rewrite the ending. How do the characters react to this different scenario? What changes have you made to the original? Does that change the genre?
You can take the story you know and love to a completely new place, but make sure you rewrite it as a script and not prose (story). You could apply the same prompt to improve your prose of course, but with this being a script writing prompt and all…
Ask A Friend
Even though we have conversations in real life with people every day, it can be hard to think of a starting sentence for a scene. That’s why sometimes it’s best to get by with a little help from your friends.
Ask a friend, family member or do a post on socials for someone to give you one line of dialogue. Use this one line to start a two page scene. Where will it take you? What does the line automatically make you think? And what type of character would say this? What situation are they in?
This prompt is a great way to not only get something new written, but to open yourself to the idea of someone reading your work… the person who give you the line surely will want to know what happens, right?
Write What You Know
As a writer you hear this time and time again: write what you know. Famous novelist Stephen King sets a lot of this stories in the state of Maine. Why? That’s where he’s from! Sylvia Plath first published The Bell Jar under a pseudonym as she didn’t want to upset people close to her that were so like her characters. Using knowledge you have on a subject or a life experience as inspiration can be a great place to start writing something.
Take something that has happened to you and have a character you have created go through the same scenario. How do they tackle it differently? Is there a different outcome? How does this effect your character?Start of by writing two pages of dialogue and see where it takes you!
You can stay close to the reality of what happened to you or use that as a starting point and change most of the details; it is completely up to you.
What are you waiting for? Your script writing career starts here!
I would love to read anything you come up with! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!