8 Tips for Writing Short Film Scripts That Connect

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  • September 14, 2023
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  • 7 min read


You must find the right mix of creativity and structure to write a short film script that connects with your audience. In filmmaking, brevity can be a powerful tool because it lets storytellers tell essential stories in a short amount of time.

Whether you’ve been writing screenplays for a long time or just starting, these eight tips for writing film scripts will help you tell stories that stick with people, make them feel something, and leave an impression that lasts.

How To Write A Short Film Script

Compared to longer forms, writing a short film takes different skills and things to think about. In this short form, every word and every scene has a lot of meaning.

To make an exciting film, start with a clear, focused idea that can be shown quickly, similar to the compelling narratives found in best horror books. Using these tips, you can make a powerful, meaningful film that people will remember.

1- Pick a Unique Idea:

You want people to see you. You want your work to be good. It makes sense that you look around to see what’s making heat at the moment. All of that is fine. But joining the crowd is a safe way to set yourself up for disappointment. Copying the latest trends in features or the festival circuit is the best way to get your script and picture lost in the crowd.

What’s the answer? You need to come up with a unique idea. Even if you like what’s popular now, you must give your work a unique, personal twist. To write short films, you need to come up with new ideas.

2- Have the Right Length of Script:

The golden rule for writing is that each page equals one minute of screen time. Don’t write 30 pages, and you’ll be able to do everything on those pages in 20 minutes. Also, write less than 20 pages; you can stretch them out to fill 30 minutes.

Short films can be anywhere from one minute to thirty minutes long, so the length of your short film story can be all over the place. So, that will affect the deadlines you set for your daily writing work. Still, goals are essential no matter how long your script is. They keep you on track, bringing me to my next tip: discipline.

3- Keep Characters Complex and Relatable:

Andrew Horton said, “Strong characters keep us interested in life and on the screen.” We indeed form relationships with people we see every day. Well, the movies show the same thing.

As screenwriters, we need to make figures that are vivid and active. The main characters in our stories must have vital wants and needs. Then, story points test these wants and needs. We give our players problems and obstacles to solve. These fights are what make the story interesting.

4- Find an Exciting Twist:

You don’t have to start from scratch if you choose a unique idea. No matter what kind of short film you write—drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, or something else—telling a known story in a new way can help you stand out.

Most of the best short films are based on tried-and-true stories. This also happens a lot in features.

Think of Shrek and Maleficent. Turned-around fairy stories. A new perspective, much like the unique angles explored in cosmic horror books. Use things from tradition, the news, or history. If you change how these stories are told in bold patterns, you might have a winner at film events. You could even end up at the Academy Awards.

5- Be Prepared for Writer’s Block:

Everyone has writer’s block at some point, as Ghostwriting Founder writes. No matter how good they are at writing or how little they know. This could be because you hit a snag in your story and need help figuring out what to do next, or it could be because you just don’t feel like writing.

If you can’t figure out how to end a particular scene or line of conversation in your script, it could be because you don’t know your characters well enough. Once you know everything about your feelings, it’s easier to picture what they would do in a given situation. From there, the story can go in any direction. You should spend more time on your characters and then let them drive your account.

6- Work on Dialogues:

Dialogue is an essential part of story writing, and mastering it is crucial as outlined in the guide to writing great short stories. But you shouldn’t just have your actors say things out loud to explain everything. Instead, try to think of a better way to show the knowledge. Use the action lines you have.

For example, if you want to show that your main character is unsure about taking a specific job offer, don’t just have your main character talk to a friend about the job offer. Have your main character make certain facial expressions and do things that show hesitation.

7- Conflict and Resolution:

Set up a problem early in your short film to interest people, akin to the engaging plots found in best book club books for 2023. Since you only have a little time, you should quickly present the conflict. Give an answer that may not solve all the problems but gives people room to think or feel.

8- Be Organized:

Writing a script will take discipline, just like anything hard to do, similar to the process described in crafting a book. You don’t just know how to write a good story when you wake up. It takes time and can be painful at times.

If you’re making less progress than you’d like, you should set aside time each day to write a certain amount of material for your story.

Remember that you don’t always have to start at the beginning when writing a story. If you can picture any scenes, write them down immediately. Sometimes, your story results from combining different backgrounds and finding ways to fill the spaces between them.

Also, the first time you write something, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s easier to get the first draft of your script done quickly and then go back and edit it over and over than to try to get it right the first time around.

Essential Elements and Detailed Insights

Tip Number Tip Description Explanation/Elaboration
1 Pick A Unique Idea Focus on originality and personal twist in your storytelling. Avoid following current trends blindly.
2 Have The Right Length Of Script Aim for a script length that translates effectively into the desired screen time, keeping in mind the one-page-per-minute rule.
3 Keep Characters Complex And Relatable Develop characters with depth and relatable traits to engage the audience.
4 Find An Exciting Twist Refresh a known story with a unique angle or perspective, similar to how fairy tales are reimagined.
5 Be Prepared For Writer’s Block Understand and accept writer’s block as a common challenge, and focus on character development to overcome it.
6 Work On Dialogues Use dialogue effectively to show, not just tell, and integrate action lines for better storytelling.
7 Conflict And Resolution Introduce a compelling conflict early and provide a resolution that leaves room for thought or emotion.
8 Be Organized Maintain discipline in writing, be open to writing non-sequentially, and focus on revising drafts.


In filmmaking, making a short film that people will remember is both a difficult task and an exciting creative trip. These eight tips will help you find your way through the tricky parts of telling a story in a few words. You can make a film that speaks to your audience by starting with a strong idea, creating exciting characters, and using visual storytelling.

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