What Is Scriptwriting? Everything You Need To Know

Satyam Maitrai
Satyam Maitrai
Content Writer
10 min reading·

What is scripwritting

Have you ever wondered how an imagination, a story idea is tactfully translated from being just an idea in the mind to beautifully crafted scripts and skillfully acted so real?

From the zombies sucking the blood of humans and thereby transforming them into their kind in the movie "Walking Dead" to Spiderman climbing walls and rescuing people in danger in the Spiderman movie series.

And how could you forget, the way dragons could speak with Merlin in the movie series "Merlin" and, then the heroic tale of a boy child who was rescued and raised by another family and became the savior of his people in the Indian movie "Baahubali".

The examples are plenty. But, isn't it wonderful to see how powerful script plays a beautiful role in merging actions, words, songs, suspense, emotions, characters, etc. to portray a storyline on our screens that takes us on a walk through a memory lane and gets us inspired, motivated or entertained while we watch?

I know you are already excited. But, before we get to broader details, let’s first understand the art behind drafting such magical scripts, that is ‘scriptwriting’. So here we go.

What Is Scriptwriting?

Scriptwriting is the process of developing a written script or screenplay for a movie, television program, play, or other performance media. Additionally, writing a script entails building a narrative, coming up with characters, a plot, and a setting, and then scripting the language and action that will take place on stage or in a movie. 

In brief, it calls for both imagination and storytelling abilities. And in case you would like to learn the art, here is a brief guide on how to write a captivating script.

Moreover, a scriptwriter sometimes also referred to as a screenwriter, is someone who writes a script. As the screenplay is mostly dependent on them, a scriptwriter needs to be equally knowledgeable about camera angles, lighting, sound design, and other technical aspects of production.

On top of that, it is essential to have a thorough awareness of the target audience, the medium, and the genre when writing a script, whether it be for a play, television program, movie, or other performing media. A talented scriptwriter must be able to create intriguing and credible characters, an emotionally captivating story, and dialogues that feel real and convincing.

Nonetheless, it is a collaborative process as the writer works closely with the director, producers, and performers/actors to hone the script and makes sure it satisfies the production's requirements. 

But, above all, you will agree, that in the era of technology, a good scriptwriter needs to have excellent software to deliver a script that could hook the audience. Popular storyboarding software such as MakeStoryboard can literally help you develop such kinds of scripts that too in almost no time. 

Now, I'm sure you must be wondering how to begin your scriptwriting in a way that could glue the attention of the viewers to their screens from the start of the film and encourage them to keep watching. 

Aren’t you? And, that’s exactly why you need to know about the concept of ‘Cold Open’.

What Is A Cold Open In Scriptwriting?

The ‘Cold Open’ is an effective tool in scriptwriting that helps establish the mood for the entire narrative. Before the opening credits or title sequence, it is the portion of the beginning of a television program, film, or play. 

The goal of a ‘Cold Open’ is to captivate the audience and pull them into the story right away. Moreover, the phrase ‘Cold Open’ refers to the way the action is thrown upon the audience with no preamble or background information. 

Also, to make sense of what is happening on screen, viewers experience a sense of anticipation and intrigue as a result. To define the tone and mood of the story, introduce the main character, and set up the central conflict or mystery; ‘Cold Opens’ are frequently employed in drama, crime shows, and thriller films. 

This also enables the writer to present important plot points without overwhelming the viewer with too much information all at once, which may be especially effective in shows with complex stories or large ensemble casts, encouraging people to keep watching to see what happens next. It can also be a potent approach to introduce the major characters or establish the story's theme.

Moreover, there could be numerous types of ‘Cold Opens’. These could be stand-alone scenes that have nothing to do with the rest of the narrative or they could be preludes to the main action. Additionally, they may highlight the primary characters or introduce brand-new ones. They may also be serious, humorous, or a blend of the two.

However, even after mastering the art of ‘Cold Opens’, some scriptwriters are confused or ignorant of the font for scriptwriting. So, let's now begin to erase that confusion and understand the relevance of fonts.

What Font Is Scriptwriting?

When it comes to digital fonts, several options are designed for scriptwriting.

However, we will mention some popular script fonts among them :

  • Brush Script
  • Edwardian Script
  • Lucida Calligraphy
  • French Script
  • Vivaldi
  • Commercial Script

Each of these fonts has its own unique style, with varying degrees of flourishes and curves.

Choosing the right script font is important as it can greatly affect the overall tone and style of your project. However, if you choose to write your script using popular software amongst filmmakers, such as MakeStoryboard, it will make scriptwriting all the way more easier and fun. Let’s learn more about it.

What Is A Good Scriptwriting Software?

Scriptwriting software is a specialized tool designed for professional writers, filmmakers, and screenwriters to create, format, and organize their scripts more efficiently. The software typically provides a range of features to help writers streamline the writing process and make it easier to collaborate with others on the project.

Today, there are several good scriptwriting software available, each with its own features and advantages. 

Some popular choices include:

MakeStoryboard – A well-known brand amongst content creators, the storyboarding software comes with a built-in program and several practical tools that can help you immensely while scriptwriting. You can build a frame-by-frame draft of your upcoming project whether you are a creator, video maker, scriptwriter, content manager, or author of graphic or script ideas.

You can equally make a series of notes and outline the events that occur in each scene. The software also makes it simple to add notes that are significant to you in each frame, beginning with the title and concluding with the time. You can then review the typical running time of a feature film when you add up all these recordings and develop your script easily from here.

I know, you must be inquisitive to learn it practically, so let's break down the procedure for you into 5 easy steps and see how we can work it out through MakeStoryboard.

Step 1: Choose the main scenes in accordance with the desired script

After having the content idea ready for the desired script, the next step is to break it up into smaller chunks so that the significant elements of the script, such as the message it is trying to convey, the settings, the characters, and the main story points, may be highlighted. This will be useful in figuring out how the scene change will happen.

To accomplish that, use the MakeStoryboard Software, and perform the following:

scriptwritting software

  • First, create a new storyboard for your scriptwriting project. To do that, just sign up or log in from the homepage.
  • Next, prepare your main scene from your script and select the "Script editor" tab, as illustrated.

Step 2: Make sure that the important scenes are recognizable

Identify the essential scenes, lay them out, and give each one a title so that it will be simple to link them back to the main plot.

Start making new frames to achieve this, and give each one a label to make it easier to identify them.

scriptwritting makestoryboard

Step 3: Add drawings or photos

Now that you have a visual representation of each scene, you can begin adding pictures or sketches. Even crude sketches can be made and uploaded. The objective is to concentrate on the plot and picture how each scenario unfolds.

add draw to script

You can do that by simply choosing the photos you want to use and uploading them in the order you want the scripts to appear.

Step 4: Explain what occurs in each frame

Although the frames are static, they can be illustrated in a way that conveys how they will appear when moving in succession. Therefore, each character's personality, mood, and actions need to be described.

how to create script

To do this, simply write a remark (under the "Description" box) to each frame to explain what happens in the script you want to make.

That’s it, your scriptwriting is now complete, and you may even include any of your favorite songs and thumbnails in it. When everything is finished, you may watch it in full-screen mode to see how it will appear in the actual situation.

Step 5: Distribute it within your team

If you are collaborating with a team, you can ask them to see your script and offer their input. It also aids in ensuring that everyone interprets the scriptwriting in the same way as you do.

Based on the team's input, the final adjustments can then be added. Nonetheless, you can always return to the storyboard to make modifications as new inspiration strikes.

share your script

To present the storyboard to your teammates:

  • Simply click the "Share" button in the top right corner (as illustrated above).
  • Once you click on it, the project's live link will appear right away. You can also add a password to the file before sharing it to further security.
  • Create a discussion thread or use comments to encourage participation.
  • You can equally draw their attention by mentioning your teammates as well. If you don't have any teammates, you can invite collaborators to review and comment on your storyboard and share it with other scriptwriters.

So, now that you have the full tutorial explained, go get your script ready and let your friends know about your scriptwriting skills. Meanwhile, let’s also look at some more tools that you can explore.

Final Draft - Final Draft is one of the most widely used screenwriting software, with features that help you easily format your script, collaborate with others, and even analyze your writing.

Scrivener - Scrivener is a versatile writing software that's particularly helpful for screenwriters, offering features like character and plot development tools, outlining and corkboard views, and a distraction-free writing mode.

Fade In - Fade In is a newer scriptwriting software that's quickly gaining popularity for its easy-to-use interface and affordability, with features like real-time collaboration and extensive formatting options.

WriterDuet - WriterDuet is a cloud-based screenwriting software that offers real-time collaboration, automatic formatting, and customizable writing environments to help streamline your writing process.

Although MakeStoryboard is the number #1 recommended software, especially if you want to take your scriptwriting to a pro level, the best scriptwriting software for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. So it's always worth trying out a few options to see which one works best for you. 

So, now that you know which software to pick for your scriptwriting project, have you ever wondered if "screenwriting" and "scriptwriting" are two similar or different concepts? Let's find out.

What Is The Difference Between Screenwriting And Scriptwriting?

Screenwriting and scriptwriting are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the world of entertainment, but they actually refer to slightly different things. Understanding the difference between these two terms can be important for anyone interested in pursuing a career in writing for film, television, or other forms of scripted media.

Screenwriting is the process of writing a screenplay specifically for the screen, whether that screen is a movie theater or a television set. Moreover, screenplays are written to be produced as visual media, and therefore must take into account the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the visual medium. 

Also, screenplays often include detailed scene descriptions, camera directions, and other technical elements that help filmmakers bring the script to life on screen. Screenwriting also involves crafting compelling characters, engaging dialogue, and an engaging plot that will capture and hold the attention of the audience.

Scriptwriting, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to the process of writing scripts for a variety of media, including film, television, radio, theater, and video games. Scriptwriting can encompass a broad range of genres and formats, from dramatic television series to comedic plays to interactive video games

Summing Up

Scriptwriting is a complex and challenging craft that requires a combination of creativity, technical skill, and attention to detail. However, by choosing industry-renowned software such as MakeStoryboard, you can quickly master the skill and further improve your chances of success in this exciting field.

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