Jeffrey Hirschberg has written a great article discussing the 11 laws he believes are critical to your script’s success.
While it is impossible to have a foolproof formula, I have learned certain principles dramatically increase the probability of your story achieving a modicum of greatness.
- Assume everyone has A.D.D.
- Spend most of your time on the first ten pages of your script
- Write roles to attract movie stars
- Write economically
- Make sure every character has a unique voice
- Understand your audience
- Know your three-act structure
- Be aware of theme, and keep it consistent throughout the script
- Watch and re-watch successful movies similar to your story
- Know what your hero wants (the goal), what happens if he doesn’t get what he wants (the stakes), and who/what is preventing him from getting what he wants (the villain)
- Leave them wanting more
Will your script echo in eternity?
For a thorough discussion of each of these laws, complete with movie examples, I highly recommend reading the full article at TheStoryDepartment.com.