For me and many others, I have accepted that being good at screenwriting is really about being good at editing. And editing is really just asking a serious of questions.

I personally like to outline my stories before I ever write scenes or dialog. I try to answer all the questions first.

The questions are meant for use during story development but may also be useful at other times, too.

If You Can’t Answer These 6 Questions You Don’t Have A Story – Glenn Gers

The Six Main Story Questions by Glenn Gers

  • Who’s it about?
  • What do they want?
  • What do they do?
  • Why doesn’t that work?
  • Why can’t they get it?
  • Why doesn’t that work?


Other Useful Questions

  • Who is the main character and what do they want?
  • What does the main character want and what are they trying to avoid?
  • Do my characters have established relationships that existed prior to the scene?
  • Does each character have their own objective?
  • What is the psychological perspective of the character that is challenged?
  • Does each line of the script move the story forward or tell the audience something new?
  • Does my story have a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • What is the hook and at which point during the script does it occur?
  • What is the Takeaway for the film? What is the message of the film? Is this how I want to contribute to the world?
  • What does the audience know? And what does the audience not know?
  • What does the main character know? And what do they not know?
  • Are you telling instead of showing?
  • What types of conflict are present in your story? You might find this article on the 7 Types of Conflict in Literature helpful.
  • What type of story structure are you using? This article about 7 Narrative Story Structures may help you decide.