Story Outline: The First Step Every Scriptwriter Should Take.

A friend chatted me up the other day telling me about the beautiful stories she wanted to develop but had no idea how to put them down as screenplays.

I know there are many of you out there who are in her shoes. Like, you have stories to tell but you have no idea how to go about it.
The truth is, whether you want to write a novel or a screenplay, the first step you have to take is to outline your story.

Outlining your story simply means the step by step breakdown of your story. If you want to delve into writing a screenplay, then it’s essential that you break down your story scene by scene which is otherwise known as “treatment”.

I do that a lot. I usually outline my story; plan the story structure before I go into scriptwriting proper. By doing so, I save myself a whole lot of time in the rewriting stage of my project.

As a scriptwriter, don’t make the mistake of leaping head first into a full screenplay without taking the crucial first step which is outlining your story.

Let’s look at it this way;
A boy has been admiring a girl for sometime and the first day he approches her, the first thing he utters is, “I want to marry you”. Lol
Doesn’t it sound awakard? Will the girl even take him serious? She will probably laugh and wonder if he is okay at all.

The problem is, he missed the first thing he should have done, which is introducing himself and getting to know the girl better.

That’s how it is when it comes to scriptwriting. It has stages. And the first stage is, outlining your story.
Don’t bother writing it to be perfect. It’s your first draft. So, mistakes and grammatical errors are allowed as long as you write it in a way that you will understand.

When you are done with this stage, trust me, writting your script becomes very much easy and fun.


Happy writing.


By the way, to familiarize yourself with the basics of screenwriting, click here

98 Replies to “Story Outline: The First Step Every Scriptwriter Should Take.

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