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== Each screenwriter's process is unique, but the end result must always meet specific formatting requirements. In getting from concept to screenplay, writers often create outlines or sketches for their story, then re-work their idea into increasingly formal or structured treatments, and finally sit down to write the actual screenplay.

Outlines are a good place to start. Simply write down the concept, characters, and outcome of the story. Keep it simple, basic, clean. Often, if a writer can summarize the story in three or four sentences, they know they have a grasp on their concept.

From an outline, one can then write a synopsis. These include the same elements of the outline but expand on them in detail. Include themes, backstories, and supporting characters.

From a synopsis, a writer moves to a treatment. A treatment parallels the flow of the finished screenplay, revealing all the information of the story as it will be revealed in the end product, the script. The treatment should be much more structured than the previous drafts, outlines and synopses.

From the treatment, a writer will analyze the flow of the story, make major changes, and once satisfied with the treatment, sit down and write the screenplay. The writer knows the story from end to beginning, and this knowledge helps him/her complete the work.

After a draft screenplay is completed, those drafts are revised and edited over and over and over again.

Of course, this is one way of doing things... Many writers have unique approaches that sometimes change with each project. Experiment! Try making the outline on a stack of index cards, or draw diagrams on a white board... The real real key is finding works for you.

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Q: What are the steps in writing a screenplay?
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