The Pros and Cons of Scriptwriting

screenplay1This year, my English coursework is based around performance texts. That means writing a speech, obituary, stage play… or, as I did, a script. (I mean, a stage play is pretty close, but not quite.)

Last year, I wrote a full-length film script, which ended up being around 20000 words. And I loved it. I loved it more than I ended up loving the characters of my as-yet-unfinished November NaNoWriMo novel (which I have grown to hate). I loved writing it, and after a couple of scenes I got used to writing in the script format. But since then, aside from maybe two or three short films (only 10 minutes or so long) and obviously my English coursework, I haven’t written scripts: I’ve gone back to prose. And, I miss it.

Some of you may be in this predicament, and not know where to go next. Some of you may have only ever tried one in your life and are perhaps looking forward to trying out another one, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you. Some of you may not even write and have accidentally found this post. But whatever you’re doing here, why not read on anyway?

Pros of Scripts

  • Some people – like me – find they take a less amount of time over prose.
  • There’s some really cool programs like Celtx you can use.
  • You can do loads of them fairly easily.
  • If it’s turned into a film/TV show/short film/even read out by your drama-ish friends, it feels awesome.
  • Not as much description is needed as it’s a visual text – or, if it is, then it doesn’t have to be written about in a flowery way, it can just be stated. That’s pretty good if you suck at description but are great at dialogue.

Cons of Scripts

  • The question is after you’ve written them, what to do with them? Producing the film yourself takes time and effort, plus you might need a decent sized-wallet. Even if you send it to someone, there’s not guarantee it’ll be seen or even viewed.
  • You may not get the depth of characters or settings as you would when you write prose.
  • You can’t really publish it without there being a production of it, really. Well, it’s difficult. I think. Actually, I don’t know much about this point, but, to be honest, I would imagine it’s tricky.
  • Even in scripts, your characters can turn out to be complete bums.
  • And sometimes your plot sucks the same.

So there you have it: my list of pros and cons of script writing. It’s up to you what you do next (that sounds very ominous). As for me, I’ll probably be writing scripts in the future, as I enjoy them way too much to give up.

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