10 Things You Need To Know About Writing A Screenplay

If you want to write the perfect screenplay, just as you would like to bake the world’s best cake, there are certain ingredients you need for the recipe to deliver ideal results.

All writers get lonely, lost, annoyed, frustrated and muddled during the process of writing a story and need to take a road home to their writing selves.

That road is The Write Journey, a journey into the heart and soul of the story, into the craft of writing, and ultimately into the art of storytelling. 

Following in the tradition of 23 years of extensive workshops throughout South Africa, and courses internationally, The Write Journey is an interactive course for writers who would like to write a screenplay for a feature film or television and is ideal for novelists and playwrights.

The Write Journey is your journey from the moment of first love, falling in love with an idea to the moment of saying: “I do”, signing a contract with yourself, a commitment that will ultimately result in a story the world wants to experience and enjoy.


  1. Your idea must have a solid premise and concept to lay the foundation of your story.
  2. You need to know what genre you want to set your story in, and what type of story you want to write.
  3. You need to know what the intention, objective or controlling idea – theme – of your story is.
  4. Do research. Gather your material any way you can. Preparation and research are essential.
  5. Fully explore and develop the people who live in your story. All memorable and successful films have one thing in common.  Not genre. Not budgets. Not even a good story. They all have memorable characters that have become part of our culture.
  6. A story without structure has no storyline; It wanders around, searching for itself, and is dull and boring.
  7. Structuring the plot of a great story is distilling from all the elements of writing – the premise, concept, characterisation, theme, story, dramatic action, obstacles, etc – a set of story events that builds suspense, utilises surprise and logically makes sense.
  8. There are 13 structural points /structural signposts that will help you to write a solid story outline, ensuring that theme, character, and plot are united.
  9. Write a story outline. Identify the story events (scenes) of the most important events in your protagonist’s life.
  10. Complete a scene outline to build and dramatise each story event and to explore the exterior and internal lives of your story.

Now it is time to write your screenplay

There is a moment in the development process that separates an idea from a screenplay. A single moment that starts a journey of self-discovery, creativity, frustration, and joy.

All of it leads to one moment and that moment starts with the letter F.


Write those two words on a blank page and you are a screenwriter. Better than that, you are a screenwriter with a purpose.

A screenwriter committed to a story worth telling.