Like a novel or a short story, a screenplay revolves around a theme and has elements such as characters, setting, plot, and dialogue. It also requires pacing and a presence of a conflict.

The format of a screenplay is very different from the format of other forms of creative writing. A screenplay would typically have three acts and between 100 and 120 pages of text. Screenplays under 100 pages and above 120 pages usually can’t be turned into plays or movies for economic reasons. Many movie goers would not come to see a short film because they think that it’s not worth going to a movie theater and spending money. Longer scripts can require giant budgets, making them unattractive to production studios.

Another difference between a screenplay and a novel is that a screenplay has several lines of information at the beginning of each scene. This information is called the slug line. It tells readers about the time, look and setting of the scene. The division of a typical screenplay into acts is the following: Act 1 is typically one-fourth of a script. Act 2 is a half and Act 3 is similar in length to Act 1.