5 Steps to Write Your Script

5 Steps to Write Your Script
Photo by Super Snapper / Unsplash

Do you find the actual process of writing hard? You're not alone and there are no shortcuts.

Writing takes time and practice. I'll never say practice makes perfect because perfect doesn't exist. Focusing on the "finished" script is a huge problem. You start to self edit or delete things too early in the process.

Scripts don't start at the end, they're created from the start.

Following last week's post, I wanted to share my writing process. If you're feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, start here. I use this for my clients' work. It's 5 steps and at the end, you'll have a full script ready to film.

Step #1: Pick Your Purpose

Don't overthink this. Another way of thinking is to ask yourself "what's the point?" What is the point of my viewers taking the time to watch and listen to what I have to say.

It can be as simple as sharing 3 things you've learned or as complicated as a product breakdown. The reasons should revolve around the betterment of your community. Keep your viewer in mind, at all times. What do you want to give them? What knowledge do you want them to walk away with? What is the point?

If you can answer "why this video" & "why right now", you'll have your purpose. The statement should look like:

 • I'm making this video to show 3 benefits of [product] because it's a new product launch
 • I'm making this video to share my 5 tips on preparing for the school year because we're 1 month away from classes

Step #2: Brain Dump Draft

This is also known as the 'vomit draft.' I renamed it the Brain Dump Draft for two reasons. One: it's gross to think about & Two: it doesn't quite cover everything we're doing.

The brain dump draft is where you get everything out of your brain and onto the page. Do not be afraid of this draft. This is the scariest part of the process. It's not supposed to be perfect nor complete. Most of the time, while you're writing, you will discover new things. Some of my best quotes and sayings came from the brain dump drafts.

There's two rules in this step:

  1. Everything gets put on the page: every comment, question, statement. You are not allowed to self edit.
  2. No Deleting: never delete anything you've written. If something doesn't "work" that means it doesn't work for this project. You can recycle and reuse what you write, so don't get rid of it.

Most clients don't know they're self-editing until they see the brain dump. They're scared to sound stupid or come off as insecure. Or they'll start erasing their writing and I have to stop them. Writing is hard and it's only going to get easier the more you do it. So please acknowledge your feelings, take a deep breath and keep going.

If you have questions, write it down. If you have an idea or don't know something, write it down. If you're having doubts about the project, write them down. Whatever is in your brain gets dumped on the page. The goal is to not stop till you've said all that you can say.

I tell my clients, I would rather read all your comments, quips, and rants than have an almost blank page. You can't edit what's not there. When the brain dump is complete, set it aside for 24 hours. Give your brain a rest, trust me, you need it.

Step #3: First Draft

Welcome back!

The first draft is where you take bits and pieces of the brain dump and start stringing together the script. First, what I want you to do is to read through your script. I want you to look for:

 • Paragraphs of Knowledge/Information: things that speak to the purpose
 • Through-Lines: statements that feed into the next block of information
 • Quotable Statements: if you say something awesome, highlight that!

It's going to be a jumbled mess and that's okay. Highlight anything that sticks out to you. After the brain dump, I've seen every client have a sense of clarity. They'll want to change the format or take the script in another direction. The focus is get all the ideas out. You'll worry about the final script later.

This is how I start the First Draft process. What you want to do:

a. Copy the Brain Dump
b. Create a Divider: I use Notion to write & they literally have a divider. But if you don't use use Notion, create a visual divider in your document so you can see version 1 vs. version 2
c. Paste the Copy After the Divider: this is the copy you'll be working from

Answer any questions and add any new information. Start breaking up the paragraphs so you can see what you're working with.

Why do it this way? Remember Rule #2.

Never Delete Anything You Write

Working with a copy of the original will ensure you don't lose anything. You may add things, you may take things away, but you'll always want a copy.

Step #4: Rewriting Phase

Now you have the blocks of information, hit enter after every sentence.

Your document will be a mile long and that's okay!

You're going to read the sentence to yourself.

If the sentence sounds awkward, reword it.

If a thought comes in, add it after the sentence.

If a sentence becomes invalid, you can delete it.

For clarity, it helps to put every sentence on it's own line.

This gives you small sections to focus on.

You won't be speaking like this, I swear.

Once you finish the script, put the paragraphs back together.

There is no formula for this step in the process. You know best what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Step #5: Read Through

The final step! This is the final editing phase. By the end of this, you'll be confident and ready to film your content.

Read through your script out loud. You can read it to a friend or yourself. Best practice is to record yourself reading the script.

When I do read-throughs with my clients, I take notes.

Things I like to note:

 • Flow: Does the script flow naturally? Is the information presented in a linear way? Does something need more information or clarity?

 • Tone: Does the mood match the subject matter? Is the attitude appropriate? Does the script match the marketing strategy?

 • Word Choices: Are the words used in the industry? Does the script come off as personable? Are the words hard to pronounce?

Go through the script and correct as you go. If you correct something, re-read that section. At the end of the script, go back and read through it. You might catch something with every read through and that's perfect.

This process might take two or three times. Repetition is your friend.

Once you get through the script, with no corrections needed, You're Finished!

You did it! This was a lot of work and I'm proud of you for doing the work! It does get easier the more you do it. Keep writing!


It's okay, I do the same thing

Writing is hard. It get easier the more you do it and if you don't know how to do it, here's 5 Steps.

  1. Pick Your Purpose: ask yourself, "what's the point?"
  2. Brain Dump Draft: get whatever's in your brain out on the page
  3. First Draft: make a more mature version of the Brain Dump Draft
  4. Rewriting Phase: working from a copy of the OG, go line by line, adding and deleting as you go
  5. Read-Through: read it out loud, not to yourself

Until Next Time!