It’s important that you make your script stand out and really grab our attention. But how do you do that?
First of all, it’s important to realize that we provide free feedback on the first ten pages of ALL submissions for a reason. This is where you make your first impression, both to us and to anyone else who reads your script, meaning this part of your script is vital.
Getting your first ten pages right can be the make-or-break moment for your script. Our feedback will of course help you along – especially as you get a free resubmission after receiving it – but here’s some advice to give you a head-start…
- Make sure we know what your script is about. You don’t need to provide all the specifics, but you do need to clearly communicate the genre and general concept. Ten pages is 8-10% of most feature scripts; if after that much we still don’t know what your script is about, that’s usually a problem.
- Get us invested in what’s going on. This usually involves introducing your protagonist and getting us interested in them, but doing the same for other characters can also work. Make us care about the characters and we’ll care about the story – and we’ll be eager to read on.
- Structure is important. It’s often a good idea to include your inciting incident within the first ten pages, though it’s not a necessity. In general, you’ll need to set everything up for the rest of the story – but don’t forget to put things in motion too, so it doesn’t come across as too static!
- Try not to lean on exposition. This is a good general rule for screenwriting, but there’s even more danger of using exposition in your first ten pages when you’re trying to introduce us to the world of your story. Remember to keep the dialogue feeling real.
- Show us what you can do! Is there something you excel at? Characters or dialogue? Or have you got an amazing premise? Don’t hold it back – make sure we know what you’re capable of!
Think you’ve got your first ten pages sorted? Submit to the WriteMovies Awards 2023