Brought to light in this article are a few screenwriting tips on how to fine tune your screenplay. Top of the list of screenwriting tips involves how screenwriting errors have to be pointed out and taken care of before submitting your screenplay into a contest or to a literary agent. In the event that such screenwriting errors are not seen to, the screenplay may turn out quite badly. You may not see these errors as such a huge deal when you compared to the entire story content of the script but the judges, agents or readers as a whole might see it as such when evaluating your script. At the end of the day, you will be left with a pile of negative impressions and this can’t be good for the overall quality of your screenplay. You need to leave the judges smiling and nodding with good impressions.
The proper use of voice over is also found in the list of screenwriting tips. You won’t be taken seriously by agents or producers if you offer them a screenplay filled with the misuse of voice overs. What is a voice over? When do you use a voice over? Voice overs are used when the character is narrating a scene from the screenplay or when the character is telling his story in a flashback. Like in a screenplay about war for example, when the lead character; a veteran narrates his war stories. We can hear his older voice narrating his flashback scenes but all we can see are images of him in his younger years in combat at war. Now that is one of the instances where voice over has been properly used in a screenplay.
Next on the list of screenwriting tips is handling O.S (off screen). Off screen involves two characters in which Character A is present in a scene while Character B is close-by but not in the same scene as Character A. A good example would be a scene where Character A is watching T.V in the living room and you hear Character B yelling off screen somewhere to Character A, “Dinner is ready”. So the screenwriting tip here is be careful not to let voice over (V.O) and off screen (O.S) confuse your readers. Further into the screenwriting tips; try not to get confused between a screenwriters script and a directors shooting script. Explicit camera directions are the most feared mistakes found in screenplay. If you are writing as a writer when writing your screenplay, then stick to being a writer. Don’t be tempted to direct in your screenplay, include nothing about where the camera’s should face (camera direction) such as “close up on”, “angle on”, “tight shot off”. Do the writing and leave the directing to the director.
The most basic of screenwriting tips is to avoid making or repeating any screenwriting mistakes. A director is in charge of a shooting script and a shooting script involves various scene breakdowns and camera directions and only the director can project it for production. The director is capable of organizing and planning the way scenes will be shot on the set with the help of the shooting script. Therefore, you should be cautious when prepping your screenplay for submission to screenwriting competitions. Follow all these screenwriting tips will bring you closer to your goal of being a professional screenwriter.