The very best way to get round to a good screenplay writing is to have a story – and a very good one, too – at the back of your mind. It does not really matter what the story is all about, but it should be very attention grabbing and laced with emotion or action. It can be a non-fiction story, or it could equally be fiction. Get the story first, and then write it down. Build upon this story; make the people in the story get real with time. Build not the characters, give them tight action and dialogue. If your story is written about actual people or events, then get the copyright thing sorted out. If you are just beginning a career in screenplay writing, then the best thing is to start with fiction. Fiction is less stressful, and you can control the events in the story as much as you like. Try to work up a good title for the story, if you can muster that. Get the synopsis ready too, and make it good. There is no hard and fast rule to all these and you will improve as you go on in your career.
The next thing is to select the genre you want. This is of extreme importance to producers and directors. They usually consider the genre before accepting the script. Genre is a way of categorizing stories into drama, action, and sci-fi and so on and so forth. There are genres that can be fused into combos, such as Romantic Comedies (RomComs). Also, in the beginning stages of your screenplay writing, you should have decided the rating you expect the script to get – PG-13, G, PG or R. If you want to get the greatest number of buys at your beginner stage, then you might want to start with a rating of PG-13. The genre and the rating need to have been solidified in your mind before you venture into the screenplay writing proper.
Changing the scenes as you write the script can be quite easy, but you cannot change the theme and genre as you go. It may be possible though, but it will surely take a lot of work to do that. You might need to do a little bit of research to find out more about ratings, and what must be in your script to fetch a particular rating.
After that, you need to consider the subject of length. Generally, drama and comedy screenplay writing usually comprise about 90 to 100 pages of script. If you are writing action, you are afforded the luxury of 120 pages. For a first timer, your script should be within the boundaries of 90 and 120 pages. A guide to the scripting of your movie is the one minute per page rule. This means that each page should be dedicated to one minute. If you have written play scripts or musicals, you would know that they follow the two minute per page rule.