The Importance of Essay Writing for Screenwriting

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 5th, 2023

The Importance of Essay Writing for Screenwriting - featured image

Screenwriting is the art of writing stories for films and TV shows.

It involves writing cinematic scripts, plotting stories from start to finish, describing settings and situations in each scene, and creating dialogues among a cast of characters. While screenwriting differs from writing novels, essays, and other literary pieces, we cannot deny the importance of essay writing for screenwriting. The ability to narrate, present an idea, or paint a picture in the readers’ minds is a skill each aspiring screenwriter must possess, and writing essays is a great way to learn it.

Essay Writing Skill is Vital for Screenwriting

Screenwriters collaborate with producers to draft their scripts, especially when the production is on a tight deadline. Your talent and creativity to make readers visualize the setting, feel the emotion, and grasp the gist of the story are essential in filmmaking and theater. Bringing in real-world visual elements is something you won’t get to do until the later stages, so you need to press the point, and it is something that Travis Preston CalArts has mastered over the years; read a few interviews and watch anything you can to get real guidance on this skill.  Maybe you have a lot of ideas for a film script, but you are not sure how to organize all these thoughts into an outstanding screenplay. Below are different ways you can call on your essay writing skill in composing a screenplay:

scriptwriter writing a logline

1. Help Write a Logline

The logline is the sentence that answers what your screenwriting is all about. It’s just like a topic sentence of a paragraph in essay writing. The logline encompasses the plot’s major dramatic question. In screenwriting, you need to refine the logline as much as possible. A great logline helps the readers understand how the protagonist gets involved in the story. And this depends entirely on your essay writing skills. College life is full of assignments, and it’s challenging for students to put their ideas together when reviewing long films or movies to write a report about them. That is why some students resort to essay writing services, to give them more time to concentrate on classwork and improve their grades. For others, it helps build their reputation and avoid unnecessary complaints from teachers. If you are considering such services or assistance, you can use Othello‘s free essay examples to understand how to create topic sentences and connect them with the main idea.

2. Create Outlines

If you have a basic idea of how to create an essay outline, it will be almost effortless to write an outline for a screenplay. To produce a sensible screenplay outline, write the main events of the script in order. Suppose you have enough or excess space for the screenwriting, write your sentences on the index cards and then post them on the wall. It will be easier for you to refer to these points and manipulate the different parts of your story for a great screenplay. Remember that each event in the screenplay should be single. You can then use the dramatic question to shape the main outline of the story. This is known as the through-line in screenwriting. Learning about the basic structure of screenwriting will save you from struggling too much in the beginning. A basic understanding of the essay outline can help create an instigating incident that will lead to struggle or conflict and end the screenplay with some change or resolution.

organizing scenes in a script

3. Screenplay Structure

Your script needs to follow a clear structure where it is sequenced properly with a framed plot. This means that occurrences should be inter-connected rather than randomly sequenced. You can create the rest of the script around this skeleton structure. Failure to set up the scenes leading to the climax of the story can make the ending feel like it came from nowhere. The structure in screenwriting must be cohesive and everything must have a wider purpose. If an event does not fit into the big picture, there is no need to build it.

screenwriter working with a filmmaker

The screenwriter’s role is vital in all film productions. Whether the story is their own or adapted from another author’s work, they have to fashion the script to tell a clear and cohesive story.

4. Make Connections Using Transitions

The function of transitions in essay writing, much like screenwriting, is to make a chain of thoughts. This means that you need to connect things paragraph after paragraph so that the essay ties together and creates a flow. A transitional moment in a screenplay moves the story forward level by level. This is more often done in essay writing as cause and effect between the paragraphs. Another technique is to use compare or contrast, i.e., similarities or dissimilarities between the two paragraphs.

5. Value Changes

Another great screenwriting technique you can adapt to essay writing is to use value change, either from positive to negative or negative to positive. For example, if you strongly value something, there could be a significant change if it broke somewhere along the way. Here, you can show how you learned to adapt and learned to appreciate more the thing you lost. The antagonistic forces make the values come alive more, deeply engaging the reader. You can also refer to this as a twist in the plot, which will make the story more interesting.

screenwriter at work

Screenwriting requires more than creative imagination and writing skills. You also need to be a diligent researcher and observer to create an incredible yet plausible storyline.

6. Building Treatment

To build your treatment, you must be creative and have strong narration skills. Essay writing can help build your storytelling skills. When writing an essay, you must narrate how different situations occurred and why they happened that way. For screenwriting, your artistic vision plays a vital role in building treatment, as you can build the characters in the script as lush as you would like. Of course, sitting down and writing a lengthy screenplay can be challenging. Remember that treatment is a narrative screenwriting tool that will help you explore different ideas and flesh out new story possibilities while developing your characters. What is the point of film treatment writing? Film treatment writing helps set up the world you want the target reader to envision. It also helps lay out the whole story’s structure and identify the film’s missing parts. The film treatment has four elements: title, logline, plot summary, and key characters. Great essay writing skills will help you build your treatment with ease.

7. Editing Your Screenplay

Several skills are highly vital in editing your script. The more you build on these skills, the easier it will be for you to edit your screenplay. Ensure that you keep overly complicated language in check and watch for any instances of ideas repetition. When writing your screenplay, avoid excessively relying on spell check. The goal of the screenplay editing is clarity. Though it’s challenging to find fault when you read what you have written yourself, the best way to go about it is to pretend to be someone who has never read it before. Avoid too much focus on perfection and keep detailed attention on the flow of the story. Identify all the problem areas you wish to improve, mark them, and set a goal to edit them.


Essay writing is highly useful in screenwriting. The more you build on this vital skill, the higher the chances of you writing a great screenplay. It enhances your ability to build creative ideas, tell engaging stories, and connect a series of thoughts or narratives into one cohesive plot. These are essential skills you need to become a great screenwriter. Next up, you may want to explore a guide to the best gifts for screenwriters.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.