How to write a Drama Script

Many request me of how to write a script of a drama. So, I thought of writing a post on basic things you should know on composing a drama script. However, writing a great drama script depends on the creativity and your experience. More you keep engaged in writing, you may write variety of creative masterpieces. By reading great writers drama scripts, you can learn more about how to develop a drama script.

To write a drama script you can follow these steps.

  • Selecting a subject matter.
  • Thinking of the time frame.
  • Developing the conflict/ the plot
  • Deciding the characters
  • Adding dialogues and stage directions
  • Having twists


Selecting a Subject Matter

Drama is like a painting. You need a topic to draw the paint. Finding a matter to a drama is not hard because the world is filled with conflicts and matters. Artist should think what my priority should be? Artists usually try to provide aesthetic solution to conflicts in the society in a creative way. They make the people to think about their follies and try to cleanse them.  The subject matters can be found in thematic basis too. It can be on the themes of society, nature, violence, religion, historical, fairy tale, biographical… etc.

For example: if you see an empty tin filled with water, you have found a subject matter; you can develop a drama based on environmental pollution.

The most important thing when you write a drama script. You should think of your target audience: their age, interest, language, religion… etc. Then you can write accordingly. There are endless possibilities with regard to selecting a subject matter. Creativity has no end.

Thinking of a Time Frame

This is called setting in literature. Your drama should have a time frame. It may be a story of a day, year or generation. It must be denoted that what era it belongs to. It can be time bound like pre historic, Victorian, modern or future. The setting also includes which country or space the story taken place. It can be Western, Asian, in a fairy land, in the space, another galaxy…etc. The incidents should be based on that time period. The language, the clothing, the interaction patterns, the culture should be matched to the time frame otherwise it might be absurd.

The Conflict

The conflict or the plot is the most important part of the drama. We have written a post on how to develop a conflict. You can read it here.

Basically a plot has sections like, exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. It is quite similar to any story you know. In the exposition you can set up the drama by giving the audience some background information related to the drama to understand it. Then you can introduce the conflict. In the rising action you can develop the conflict until it reaches its highest point. It is called the climax. The after effects of the climax can be shown in falling action and at the resolution, the conflict can be resolved in a positive or negative way. If you think of a simple story like: the rabbit and tortoise race. You will find all those features we mentioned above. Again do not forget about the age level of the audience.

You can watch this video on how to develop a junior drama.

The Characters

You need characters to the story. Depending on the settings, audience and the conflict, you can think of suitable characters. They can be human, animal or objects. Each character should be used with a purpose. They should have a role in the drama; they should support the overall message the drama carries. We hope to write a separate post on characters as it is a vast area to discuss.

Usually in a drama there should be a central character, we call him (or her or it) the main character or protagonist. The story is woven around him/her or it. His task is to overcome the obstacles he faces and reach his goal. He usually has a person who blocks his path – he is called a villain or antagonist. He constantly creates obstacles to the hero that is where the conflict begins. There are mentor characters who guide the hero to reach his goal. There are ally characters who support the hero on his path. The villain also can have allies. There are jokers in stories. They provide humor and rather strong messages to the story. Have you noticed that hero’s best friend is always a joker.


The Dialogues and Directions

Unlike other stories, drama is based on dialogues. All the story is spoken - even the thoughts of the characters. The script is written for the characters in the drama. Therefore, the stage directions should be written in the script. Here you can write what characters do, what emotions they show, what music piece is played, in which corner of the action takes place, what other characters do..etc.



Drama is too a work of literature. You better have some ideas about literary techniques used in dramas. If you have less idea about that you can always get the support of Google! Using literary techniques like irony, epiphany, satire, flashback, flash forward, freezing, juxtaposition…etc. enhances the quality of your drama. Do not worry these things are already included in your drama, you just have to know what it really in technical terms.


Twists means the sudden changes in the ordinary story line. Sometimes when the story is going to end in a positive way the story can turn upside down. The plot order can be twisted- the story can be started in the climax and story goes backward. You can do experiments with a proper purpose. Your twists can keep the audience at their edges of seats.

It is hard to write a single post on how to write a complete drama script. But knowing above basic things would be helpful for you to start writing a drama script. Please let me know about your progress. You can always leave a comment below to enrich this post. Share the post if you find it useful to others.  





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