You might want to answer these questions for yourself before you start writing your screenplay.

What part of your protagonist’s life is relevant for the audience to know in the first ten pages of the screenplay?

Do we need to know deep down who she/he is right from the start in order to understand and connect with the protagonist?

Do we need to know where she/he works?

Is it relevant we know where she/he’s been, what she/he has done?

Is it relevant we know where she/he comes from?

Is it relevant to know where your protagonist thinks or hopes she/he’s headed?

Will your protagonist be someone with whom the audience will willingly identify and make an emotional connection?

Who are the other major players we need to meet in the opening pages?

Do you know how you’re going to impart to the audience the mood and backdrop of the story?

If there is one, what is your story’s theme?

Where are we?

When are we?

What’s the financial, political, economic, and/or social climate – any or all of those that would be relevant to the upcoming story?

What’s your story’s genre…is your audience expected to laugh? Cry?  Be afraid?  Be anxious?

What’s your story’s inciting incident – that event which kicks off the story?

Will that inciting incident “hook” your audience?

Is that inciting incident of the protagonist’s own making or does it come from an external influence?

Is the central dramatic question of the piece sufficiently interesting or intriguing or exciting or mysterious or funny to make my audience want to stick around to find out how that dramatic question is answered at the end of the plot/story?

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