How can you make a good movie script?

Two key elements to creating a good film script: Creativity and Research.

Watch your favorite movies and then take the time to read the scripts that were written before the first frame was shot. It is important to understand why a film script is written the way it is. A film script is not a novel. A film script is a dense, compact blueprint for making a movie. Movies are expensive to make and you will be the one providing the magical-word-formula that sends hundreds of people into month-long activities. It better be good. If you seriously want to see your story made into a film, you will have to write a compelling story in a professional format.

Several online websites offer scripts for reading -- for free. www.imdb.com is one of these sites which offer scripts from previously made movies. Watch the movie and then read the script. This will allow you to understand the power of words, and how each word is literally translated into moving pictures.

One of the best script writers out there is James Cameron. Read the script he wrote for "Aliens" (Google: aliens, script) and you'll understand. James Cameron uses carefully chosen words and rich, painterly scene descriptions to create the movie within your head -- before you even see the film! This is an art in itself. You can feel the passion James Cameron has for his films, reading the script. They're alive and you understand after reading -- that the script MUST be made into a film.

Create the world of your story in your head -- let it develop over time like a fine wine. Replay the scenes in your head, as your characters speak their lines. Run the scenes over and over in your head, until you perfect each scene. Picture a relative saying your lines, A father or brother. Would it sound convincing coming from someone you know? Perhaps you can imagine a favorite actor of yours, saying the dialogue lines. Does each scene blend into the next scene? How does each scene push the story forward? The scene of Ripley being told the Alien planet now has colonists living on it, LEADS her to the next scene where she decides to go there to save innocent colonists (juicy). After deciding to go, it leads to the next scene of her in a marine attack ship, etc.

Jot down important notes and conversations floating around in your head. After several months of letting this world develop you can begin to put the scenes into script format. You must understand the concept of "story". Research what makes a good story via the internet. Remember, lots of patient creativity and lots of research. You can do both at the same time, it's not cheating. In fact, you should write and have fun -- while you learn how to write well. Don't kid yourself though, you should compare your script to movies that have already been made. Does yours stand up in quality and dialogue? Writing a good script is exhausting and takes months.

In most films today, our main character needs something in life and encounters major obstacles and conflict to get it. For example, in "Saving Private Ryan" Tom Hank's character simply wants to find Private Ryan, and goes through several scenes and conflicts to find him. He does, but it costs him his life, and this is entertaining and thought provoking. Also, throughout the film, we think Private Ryan will be some ass, but he turns out to be worth saving. That satisfies the audience. Keep a mystery going throughout your film, and surprise and satisfy your audience at the end. How? Go and research a good film and watch how it is done. In a good film, a question or mystery is put in our laps early in the film, and we are compelled to watch the whole movie until we find the answer at the end.

Be creative. You must write a story that will entertain and make money. This will require a film script that is original and thought provoking. Write the type of film you would like the see yourself. Write the type of story that interests you. If you like romance films, don't write science fiction. Again, watch the professionals. There is a quote that applies very appropriately here; "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Watch and learn from the professionals. It's only as hard as watching and absorbing!

Most new writers fail at script writing because they do not format the story into proper script style. You must research and fully understand the rules of script writing. Again, lots of online sites for this. Spelling and grammar is beyond important, it's life or death for a script.

Lastly, a common pit for novice writers is dialogue. Good dialogue is difficult, as it should be. Writing believable dialogue is an art. Writing a good, clean, professional script is an art. You must be patient and believe in your story. The story must begin to feel real for you.

This article is only written to raise your interest. Go and visit the professionals and read their advise and tips as they explain the real meat 'n taters of making a good movie script. Have fun -- be creative -- but in the end it should be professional.