chapter  8
7 Pages

Analyzing a Screenplay

After making an initial assessment and breakdown of the screenplay in hand, you can analyze in greater depth how it functions, beginning with the plot of the story.

PLOT Plot is the logic and energy that drive the story forward, and plot is closely allied to the story’s structure. Its job is to generate questions in the audience’s mind and to keep interest and tension high. Every step the characters take should feel inevitable. Anything unsupported, arbitrary, or coincidental weakens the causal chain on which the feeling of forward momentum depends. Once you describe how the plot works, you need only common sense and a little inspiration to make improvements. For more help, read Part 4: Aesthetics and Authorship-in particular, Chapter 14, “Time, Structure, and Plot,” because these elements are interdependent.