Williamsburg International Film & Music Competition

Writing a perfect screenplay is a challenging task that requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and attention to detail. There are no great films without a great screenplay first.

Here are some tips on how to write the perfect screenplay:

Develop a compelling story

The first step in writing a perfect screenplay is to develop a compelling story. A good story is the heart of any great film. You need to have a clear understanding of what your story is about, what themes you want to explore, and what message you want to convey.

Start by brainstorming different ideas and concepts for your story. Once you have a few ideas, try to develop them further. Create character bios, plot outlines, and detailed backstories. This will help you get a better understanding of your story and the characters that inhabit it.

Create memorable characters

Creating memorable characters is an essential part of writing a perfect screenplay. Your characters should be well-developed, unique, and relatable. They should have their own voice, motivations, and flaws.

When creating characters, think about their backstory, their desires, and their relationships with other characters. This will help you create fully fleshed-out characters that are interesting to watch on screen.

Write a solid outline

A solid outline is an essential part of writing a perfect screenplay. Your outline should include all the major beats of your story, including the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Start by creating a basic outline of your story. Then, flesh out each beat with more details, including character actions, dialogue, and subplots. This will help you get a clear picture of your story and ensure that it flows smoothly.

Focus on dialogue

Dialogue is a critical component of any screenplay. It is the primary way that characters communicate with each other and move the story forward.

When writing dialogue, make sure that it is realistic, engaging, and relevant to the story. Each character should have their own unique voice, and the dialogue should reveal their personality, motivations, and conflicts.

Show, don’t tell

Showing, not telling, is a critical element of writing a perfect screenplay. This means that you should focus on visual storytelling rather than relying on exposition or narration.

Use visual cues, character actions, and dialogue to convey information to the audience. This will help you create a more immersive and engaging story that draws the audience in.

Edit and revise

Editing and revising are essential parts of writing a perfect screenplay. After you have completed your first draft, take some time to review and revise it.

Look for areas where the story could be improved, characters that need more development, or dialogue that could be tightened. Use feedback from others to help you identify areas that could be improved.


Formatting is an important aspect of writing a perfect screenplay. A well-formatted screenplay is easier to read and understand, and it shows that you are a professional.

Use a software program like Final Draft to format your screenplay properly. This will ensure that it follows industry standards and is easy to read by potential producers and agents.

Writing a perfect screenplay is clearly a challenging task that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The aforementioned tips are just a starting point to help guide you towards a first draft of something that has the potential of being great after multiple revisions. Don’t be afraid of cutting out scenes or characters if they are not moving the story along or adding confusion. And at a certain point you need to let others read your screenplay in order to receive honest, fresh feedback that can help further shape the story and smooth out the rough edges. With these elements in place, you can write the perfect screenplay that will captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact. Good luck.