The pool of do’s and don’ts advice for screenwriters is endless. Believe me, I’ve seen a lot of these tips on the internet and in books.
Here is a list of what I have found useful for every writer/storyteller to note when crafting their stories.
1. Write character-driven stories
The mistake many screenwriters make is to assume that they can just apply a different sequence of events to a story and it would work.
It’s writing an action-oriented story and the failures of those stories have shown that writing like that isn’t the best approach to storytelling. Let your character be the centerpiece of your story.
2. Take the time to build your characters
Having agreed that writing character-driven stories, you need to take the time to develop who your character is. This is important work that must be carried out with care.
If you don’t develop your character well, your story will definitely be weak and below average. Take the time to build your character.
3. Build your story world
Many writers don’t care about building their narrative world; they go straight to writing. Building your narrative world is an essential part of your storytelling.
The rules of the world, what the world looks and feels like, the do’s and don’ts, all count in telling a compelling story.
4. Give your character a clear outer goal/desire
What your character wants should not be ambiguous. It should be clear as day. Don’t make the mistake of not showing it clearly. There is no room for ambiguity when discussing your character’s goal.
Their desire must be strong enough to want to take them on a trip.
5. Give them a compelling internal conflict
Yes, they must have external obstacles that they will face on their journey to obtain their desire or external goal, but they must also have an internal conflict that is holding them back. They have to fight something inside them; it should be simple and solid.