Writing the Treatment

Well, it looks as though my post on scriptwriting “really packed a wallop”, as our very own Skye commented. 🙂 So today we’ll continue our discussion and talk a little bit about treatments. 

What is a treatment? A treatment is simply an outline of a screenplay. It is written in the third person and in the present tense and does not include dialogue. 

Once you have decided on an idea for your screenplay or stage play, you will need to write a treatment and a synopsis. While a synopsis goes into considerable detail by outlining your play scene by scene, a treatment gives only an overview of your story. A treatment is usually used to pitch your screenplay to an agent or producer. 

The treatment could be considered the blueprint of your film. It ranges from 8-15 pages and is structured in three acts. 

A treatment will help keep you on track as you write your story. It will also reveal any plot holes. 

If your interest has been piqued, check out the Internet for samples of successful treatments. Then try writing one of your own.

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2 thoughts on “Writing the Treatment

  1. How interesting! Mary Ann, this is unexamined territory for me; the only time I heard of ‘treatment’ was in the midst of a comedy show–I will have to give this some thought and do a little research. Are you contemplating a script?

    Skye

    September 21, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    • I took a scriptwriting course some years back and wrote a couple of treatments for business documentary videos. This is a good way to earn extra income, by the way. Treatments and scripts are written not only for films but also for businesses.

      September 21, 2009 at 3:44 PM