Because of Mama


Drafting the Short Screenplay...

Writing the Short Film

Conceiving Our Story

Determining the Structure

Discovering/Crafting Images

Writing Scenes

Tips for Writing Scenes



Step Outline

Drafting the Short Screenplay: A Word About Formatting

    It's very important when you write a screenplay to be sure to format it correctly. As with any kind of screenplay, there are certain conventions that you should follow when writing, so that readers, actors, and crew understand your script, and where it's going. For example, when a new character is introduced, he or she is named in ALL CAPS. This convention is made as a courtesy to the actor, who can more easily find the exact moment in the script when the character appears. Moreover, for your script to look professional, you also need to follow certain spacing conventions: so many tabs in for action, so many for dialogue, and so on.

    The conventions of screenwriting are too many and too various to list here. To see an example of a correctly formatted screenplay, see our Because of Mama script, below. The script was written on Final Draft, the most frequently used screenwriting software. Final Draft uses very simple commands to format your scripts so that they look professional and clean. You can purchase final draft by visiting If you are a student you can purchase this software at discounted prices at

Back and Forward Arrows
Tips for Writing Engaging Scenes Exercises