Snippets: Treatment in Screenwriting

I am a pantsy writer, this means that I do not need to plot out my story in detail before I begin screenwriting. All I need to know is my characters’ goals and story goals and somehow, I’ll end up there. In all honesty this works well for me, but when it comes to writing a movie script, or a comic script, this might be disastrous.

The treatment, is a short summary of everything that happens in your story, scene by scene. In away, this is your first draft, because when you have this down, all you need to do is rewrite it, and flesh it out with dialogues and actions, then edit it, and your script is ready.

The treatment helps you pace your story. It helps you know what to cut out of your story before you invest the extra energy in fleshing it out. It helps you know what happens in each scene and in the case of comic books, what happens in each page. With the treatment, dividing your comic books into pages and panels become easier. And finally you can also use a treatment as an outline if you are writing a novel. I personally don’t do this, the outlining for a novel bit, because I am just lazy. Plus a novel needs more fleshing out than a script, so I’ll rather just write a first draft then edit it until I am satisfied. But we are different people.

Now How do you write a treatment
Step 1. Know your plots.
Step 2: Know your character.
Step 3: Know your story goals and character goal.
Step 4: Think or visualise your story, scene by scene.
Step 5: Write down what happens in each scene, up until the story or episode ends. Add dialogues that you may forget to add. There is no set rule in how to structure your treatment, since like the first draft of a novel, it is for your eyes alone, so don’t worry about typos.

Here is a snippet from something I am working on. I’m not going to retouch or edit it, so you know that your treatment does not need to be prefect.

Venus treatment

Episode 1

Bailey and Venus are on the top of the roof at the council. Bailey’s mum told her to end her friendship with Venus, they promise on the moon that they will stay best friends forever, then they set out to join the ball, they remember Bailey’s grandfather’s words and chant on their half-moon necklaces “whenever we feel like all hope is lost, like things are falling apart, or like the world is against us, we will look up at the sky at night and as long as there is light in the moon, everything will be allright.”then they go to join the party.

In the Present: 300 years later

Bailey (now older and thinner) is is running with a child in her hand, she runs through a grey barrier marked werewolves territory, she trips on stones and potholes but continues running her thoughts battling with her “You cant escape this.” “I can” “I will” “Don’t deceive yourself you brought this on yourself.” She looks up at the moon “No the light is getting dimer. But there is hope, for my babies at least. I’ll protect them” She spots the independence bridge, climbs on it, and falls on her knees she looks down at her baby and cries she starts to chant,”LIANDE! ARENEAVALDEA! GUTO LANDE! UNTO! DORNLOVOLO! UN! TO! LASE!!!!” the moon looks brighter

Back to the past: 300 years earlier

The council hall, a huge colossal building like the Taj Mahaj or something, with parked exotic cars, guards standing in strategic locations, a huge maze, a fountain glimmering with coins, inside Caption “The council Ball, the only time when vampires, werewolves, fairies, pixies, shape shifters and sorcerers came together under the same roof without trying to reap each other’s throat out. That was were I met him”

The hall is packed and busy, then some people turn to look at some one. It is Bailey, she is beautiful, younger, bright, really bright, she looks like a peacock threw up on her. Of shoulder flowing gown. “Yes all you peasants turn and gawk at the perfection that is me, feast your eyes on my beauty!” She smirks. The party goes do not seem to think she is all that, they disapprove of her look, “So who shall I dance with today?” “Too tall”, “Too stiff.” “Too ugly.” then she sees him. Some one is talking to him, introducing his daughter to him but he catches Bailey’s eyes and stare at her, then smiles, Bailey blushes

“Gosh bails, you are blushing!” Venus says, grabbing her by the neck “Shh! People might hear you” she pinches her bestfriend’s hand and she recoils. “So who is he?” Venus asks. Bailey turns to look for him but he is no longer there. She looks and sees him heading up the stairs. “Oh my gosh Bails, he is cute, is that your mate?” Bailey smile. “Well Stark is waiting for me by the fountain. Don’t forget, our kids must also become best friend.” She leaves walking past Zedark at first with a smile, but as she passes him, she frowns.

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And there you have it. How to Write a Treatment. Thank you for reading my Journal and I hope to see you again.

Fablingpam

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