The Treatment

A treatment usually consists of between 20 to 40 pages, typewritten and double spaced. It is a step-by-step detailed narrative account of your story written in present tense prose. It should include every scene you have written. Many people write a treatment only after they have developed a step outline. The treatment is an expanded version of your outline and it is written in exciting prose, detailing everything that happens in your script. A good, solid treatment could be shot into a film, since it includes all the action in a film. The only thing it doesn't include is the dialogue.

Take time to create an interesting, well-written treatment, that will hold the readers interest and excite them. When you write your treatment don't explain or tell your readers what's happening. Show them what's happening through writing the external action that takes place. Use the best prose you can, by having concrete verbs and action words and limiting your adjectives and adverbs. Show, don't tell.

Remember your prose must translate into film. Write visually. Picture each scene before you begin to write it and translate these visual images into descriptive words. Sometimes writers are asked to develop a treatment, before they write a script. It is often on the strength of your treatment that you'll sell or not sell your screenplay. Don't let it be filled with weak verbs, adjectives or adverbs. Make your story come alive!!

Keep the action going through the use of strong verbs and visual images. Don't give camera directions in the treatment or it won't be a good read. If an executive doesn't like your treatment, he certainly won't ask you to write the script. Be certain you have a well-written, structured treatment that will intrigue, excite, and interest your reader.

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