The Art of Prompting: Capture the Audience

Writing an engrossing screenplay of any form, as a short skit, Broadway play or a film,  is not for the faint of heart. Many are found lacking in the determination it requires to write a screenplay from start to end riddled with multiple iterations. But the effort is worth it! Being able to visually portray your vision and ideas to an audience is something few can boast off. Being a professional screenwriter, you can work from the comfort of your home with completely flexible hours. The life of a screenwriter seems pretty sweet until you hit the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. You don’t have to be a professional screenwriter to experience this phenomenon. Even as someone who is trying their hand for the first time, you may face this challenge of a lack of inspiration. Original ideas may not flow, and it is difficult to get any productive writing done.

Suffering from writer’s block? No idea where to begin? We have got you covered. ‘Screenwriting prompts’ allow you to break through these writing barriers and set you on a free path to express your imagination. At the most basic level, screenwriting is scene writing. The screenwriting prompts given below form the basis of your scenes and jumpstarts your creativity.

  • Why is she not coming? She swore she would be there!
  • He was bleeding but that was not his biggest pain
  • Two drinks and he is mine, one if it is whiskey
  • There is a reason I am afraid of shadows
  • I know we should not be here but we had no choice.
  • It has been twelve years since I left this room that awful night
  • As the sun sunk below the hills, she finally saw it
  • The phone rung at midnight. I was not surprised.
  • He found the journal on the train
  • You need to be born with a weapon if you wish you had a chance of surviving here
  • Staring at the barrel of the gun, I knew I deserved to be there. The only emotion running through my body was…relief.
  • I stared at the door of the coffee shop, waiting for them to walk in
  • I was in my bed. I heard footsteps approaching. They were not familiar.
  • A scene featuring only two characters sitting on the edge of a dam
  • A soldier disobeys a direct order from the General
  • A scene where no words are said but important information is shared
  • If you take one step out there, you are a dead man
  • An illegal drug ring run behind a popular bakery store used as a front
  • The Martian, only they find life on Mars and are taken as a prisoner
  • A woman who believes her dog is the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln and tries to save the fate of the country

Dialogue Prompts

Having decided the direction which you will give your scene using our screenwriting prompts, you now need to find the best way to take the scene there through dialogues. Writing dialogues comes naturally to some writers who are able to make their characters heard. These dialogues provoke responses and actions from other characters in the scene and help carry the scene forward as well as play a key role in character development. The key here is to make sure each dialogue has a reason otherwise it is quite common for writers to write long conversation which has no point. If you are interested, you can also check poetry prompts by Squibler.

Dialogue prompts aid writers by giving them a great line to kickstart their scenes. Additionally, they can also be used in the midst of a character conversation to guide the conversation.

Since dialogues are the easiest way to convey important information about the scene, characters and plot of the screenplay, it is important to remember these points while using dialogue prompts.

  • Give only enough information at a point that is required by the audience to comprehend the plot and prevent confusion. The key is to maintain interest by withholding information.
  • Through the use of dialogues, let the least important facts be put out. Follow this with more important facts and the crucial points at the end. This will help with not only keep the audience engrossed but also allow you to systematically build your scenes up to a climax.

Dialogue prompts to add flavour to your scene

Ten Starting Dialogue Prompts

  • “Is there a problem here, ladies?”
  • “Hang on, where is your father?”
  • “Who is responsible for doing this awful deed?”
  • “I do not have any time to explain, just follow me!”
  • “Do you believe in love at first sight?”
  • “What are you trying so hard to hide?”
  • “Letting you go was the hardest thing I had to do”
  • “You do know you are responsible for this as well, right?”
  • “Give me another chance at this, please!”
  • “Can you find out where he is heading?”

Ten Response Dialogue Prompts

  • “So, hang on, let me get this straight”
  • “Is that the best reason you can give me?”
  • “Looking back, this was a very bad idea, disastrous!”
  • “Did you really just say Iron Man is better than Captain America?”
  • “I cannot believe you would do that after everything we have been through”
  • “Where next? Milan? Paris? Mumbai?”
  • “I still believe there is a good person in there, somewhere”
  • “For the right price, I will tell you everything”
  • “This. Never. Happened”
  • “I thought I could trust you”

Ten Quirky Dialogue Prompts

  • “If it was not for inflation, I would own a mansion by now!”
  • “You seem awfully scared for someone who tames dragons for a living”
  • “How are you so impressed by wooden spoons?”
  • “It was the biggest gathering of idiots I had seen”
  • “Hearing him speak was as if the Mad Hatter had come to life”
  • “I am not a thief; I am just really good at acquiring things which are not mine”
  • “No Sir, this is a Baskin Robbins for God sake!”
  • “I am just doing what the fortune cookie said! Who am I to stand in the way of fate?”
  • “Moderately functional is not another word for DRUNK!”
  • “I know what will help with your mood. A Happy Meal!”

Well, there you have it folks. Using a combination of our screenwriting prompts and dialogue prompts, you now have the tools to showcase to everyone your creative genius!