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  • Writer's pictureLee Hamilton

Top 10 Things To Consider When Writing Features

There are tons of things to consider when first tackling the ambitious job of writing a feature screenplay, but once you’ve decided on the story you want to write and have begun to put virtual pen to paper, there are a few important things that you need to be ultra-aware of, particularly in terms of structure and dramatic momentum.

Let’s take a quick look at the beats, the format, and the narrative tools that every feature script requires.

1. Genre. Understanding what type of movie you’re writing and who your target audience is will not only help you make your script more marketable, it can also make your script more rewarding. Watch other movies and read other scripts written in your chosen genre to get to grips with what each of them has in common. Learn the tropes, but remember you need to put your spin on them too. Don’t underestimate genre fans! They have certain expectations, but at the same time, they don’t want to see carbon copies of the same old thing. It’s up to you to give them the ‘same, but different’.

2. Your First Page. First impressions count and page one is where any experienced reader will be able to make a quick and accurate judgment about your writing ability. Being able to grab the reader’s attention is essential. There are many ways to do this, from introducing an intriguing character or setting or creating a compelling conflict right from the start. There is a lot of advice about what exactly needs to be included on your first page (and in your first ten pages), such as introducing the protagonist, establishing the theme, having a strong opening image, etc, but the only thing you need to be concentrating on is hooking the reader, so much so that they’ll want to keep turning the page!

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