Screenwriting: How To Write a War Film

There are several genres for screenwriting. A war film can provide the necessary action, conflict, drama and romance that viewers want to watch and pay money for. Here are a few steps screenwriters can follow when writing a war film.

Step 1: Research

Regardless of whether the concept or story is based on true events or not, it is still important to do research. Watch other war films and books on the matter. Doing some research will help give screenwriters a few ideas or concepts to follow. It also helps screenwriters determine what concepts or takes on the subject have been done, what has made previous war films successful, or what the audience would pay to see. Seeing other war films would also help see which aspects should be avoided or were ineffective.

Step 2: Think of the Concept

The concept is the most important part of the script. It is the main idea of the film. An effective delivery of the concept will determine whether the script will grab the producers' attention and convince them to read the script and make it into a movie. This is where the research will help in defining the concept. With all of the war films that have been made throughout history, it is important to convince people what makes this particular war film script different from the others that have come before and would be exciting to see.

Step 3: Determine the Conflict

Movies are all about conflict, problems or issues. If everything is nice and peaceful, then there is no story or a reason for people to spend time watching the film. Unlike most other genres, the conflict within a war film is more obvious to the viewers. In the case of creating war films based on actual historical events, the problem is how to make the story interesting and exciting enough for the viewers to watch, even though some of them are already aware of how it will end.

Step 4: Write the Dialogue

The dialogue should sound natural or conversational. If the script is regarding a battle during Medieval Times, then the dialogue should reflect the change in the time period. It helps set the scene, making it more believable for the audience watching.
Step 5: Pick the Climax

The climax of the war film is the high point of the story. With an action filled war film, this can be a bit tricky as the screenwriter will have to determine how to differentiate this battle as the decisive one or the most important. Besides the action, the climax is distinguished by the timing, which is almost always at the end or near the end of the film. The other parts of the film should help in building up the mood up until the climax occurs. After the climax, the audience will want to see how things end up. 

Step 6: Edit the Script

Remove scenes that do not work for the story. Even if the dialogue sounds good, if the scene does not have a purpose then remove it. Unnecessary scenes will only confuse the audience or reader of the main story.