How should you lay out your script?

Scriptwriting software, such as Final Draft or the free alternative Celtx offers industry-standard script layout templates.

The pros and cons of this type of software are discussed elswhere in depth. If you want your script to look exactly like every other offering, this is probably the way to go. For some reason, it appears that Hollywood studios want all scripts to look as if they were typed on an Imperial sit-up-and-beg typewriter in 1934.

If, however, you want more flexibility, and prefer to generate your scripts in a regular word processor, this is how to do it.

TV Layouts

TV layouts vary. Each Broadcaster and Studio has a preferred 'house style'. It's not desperately important you know which style goes where: a good script is by far the most important consideration. The production team can re-format your script to fit requirements, if it makes its way as far as the production process. It's a good idea, though, to submit a script that looks professional. I remember this being one of the more daunting elements of scriptwriting when I started out. The truth is, there's not a lot to it – a few simple rules, is all – and purpose-written scripting software makes it a doddle.

Here are those rules:

Here are a couple of samples:

Radio Layout

There are less variations in radio scripts.