Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! Like most great "quotes" attributed to famous people, the one I'm about to mention is probably apocryphal. But some people claim that Abraham Lincoln once said, "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first six sharpening my axe. The key to writing a great screenplay is to spend most of your time planning the story before you begin to write it. But, what kind of outline works best to "sharpen your axe"?
How to Write a Novel Treatment
How to write a novel step by step | Free guide to writing a novel
When you approach literary agents, you will need to present them with a submission package that includes a query letter, a sample of your manuscript and, of course, a synopsis. The synopsis will need to look professional — that is, it wants to follow a proper synopsis format — and it needs to do its job, of convincing an agent that your story sounds exciting. A synopsis is a word summary of your book that forms part of your agent submission pack. It should outline your plot in neutral non-salesy language and demonstrate a clear story arc. Every major plot twist, character, and any big turning point or climatic scene should get a mention.
Does Your Screenplay Need a Treatment or a Synopsis?
Learning how to write a series presents several pitfalls. Is your story idea big enough to stretch across multiple books? Would you be able to extend your character arcs and conflicts?
Last Updated: March 29, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Melessa Sargent. Melessa Sargent is the President of Scriptwriters Network, a non-profit organization that brings in entertainment professionals to teach the art and business of script writing for TV, features and new media. The Network serves its members by providing educational programming, developing access and opportunity through alliances with industry professionals, and furthering the cause and quality of writing in the entertainment industry.