How to Write Drama Scripts

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Write a drama script by formatting the story to fit in the time frame of the television show, dividing the script into acts, and developing a story that builds tension to the point where the commercial breaks occur. Keep time constraints in mind, and try to hook the audience with dramatic moments, using advice from a writer, director and editor in this free video script writing.

Part of the Video Series: Script Writing & Filmmaking
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Video Transcript

Alright folks, in this clip we're going to talk about how to write a drama script. Now when we say drama script, in this instance I'm going to be referring to drama as in dramatic television. We just talked about sit com scripts and this time we're going to talk about dramatic scripts. In dramatic scripts for an hour long television, obviously it's going to be, have to fit within the hour long format and when a show runs about an hour on TV it generally means it's actually about forty five minutes to forty seven minutes long in reality because you have to factor in the breaks for commercials. So, you'll start by listing the title of the episode. You're going divide your script up in to acts because through out the story there's always going to be breaks for commercials. And in a play often times there will be you know act one, act two, act three. Sometimes with an intermission. So, sometimes people like to treat televisions scripts the same way. And if you think about it, theater scribes were the first ones to kind of come up with the idea of commercial breaks. Obviously, they don't think they were advertising things in the lobby at their theaters, but it was still a break. And that's the way people treat TV commercials, they get up and grab a drink or use the restroom. So, there are different acts. Acts, one, two, three, four and oftentimes there'll be just about four commercial breaks, maybe five depending on how many advertisers are trying to squeak their products in there. So when writing a dramatic script, keep in mind that it has to fit that time frame, forty five minutes long and have different breaks or beats. So you're going to want to start by starting with act A, move right in to the action, and develop your story in such a way where you build up tension to the point where the commercial would kick in and the act would come to an end. You want to build your dramatic beats around those moments because obviously you want to hook the people enough to bring them back to watch the continuation of your story, since they are basically free to flip the channel anytime. So, those are the keys to keep in mind; the time constraints, the separate acts or beats as you prefer to call them and building up tension and hooking your audience right up in to the last moment so you're sure to draw them back in once the commercials are over. That is how you write a dramatic television script.

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