From Smosh to Saturday Night Live, scripted content has always had a home on YouTube’s trending page. Scripts can be so useful, in fact, that even videos that aren’t comedy sketches or short films can benefit from having one.
Here are a few top tips for writing scripted online content.
Use an online screenwriting program.
Trying to format a script in a normal word processor, such as Microsoft Word or Google Drive, can be a challenge. Instead, use an online screenwriting program that will automatically format it for you. That way, you’ll only have to think about the content.
Both WriterDuet and Cetlx offer free versions of their online screenwriting programs. You can download each program’s app as well. Alternatively, if you’re using Google Docs, you can download the add-on Fountainize.
Match your page limit to your time limit.
In film, a good rule of thumb is that one page of the script equals one minute on the screen. Therefore, the number of pages in your script should match the length of your video in minutes.
For example, this CollegeHumor sketch is three minutes and forty-seven seconds long, so the script would have been between three to four pages long. Most of this channel’s videos are around the same length, so it’s safe to assume their video scripts average about four pages.
Don’t be afraid to go through multiple drafts.
No script is going to be perfect on the first try. Most writers go through multiple drafts before they finally have the polished final product. So, if you’re struggling to write your video script, keep going, then do it over. It will improve with each draft.
You may even find it helpful to start with an outline. Simply create a list of points you want to hit. Then, arrange them into major topics and supporting details. From there, you can build out your script.
Having a script can make any video run more smoothly. Use an online screenwriting program, match your page limit to your time limit, and don’t be afraid to go through multiple drafts.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.