I received some comments about wanting to know more about writing treatments, and why they're so important. So here we go.
In addition to what I spoke of in the last post, another strong reason as to WHY you should write a treatment is you don’t want to be in the development phase when writing your script, that’s what the treatment is for. So, in the perfect scenario, once you begin your script, your story is fully developed and all you need to do is write it in screenplay form.
Writing scripts to me is all about process, and writing a treatment is just another element in that process. We first develop our idea, and we should do this by writing character sketches - developing and creating characters. Also in this phase, we think about our plot - what plot type is right for our story? Revenge? Love? Quest? Then we do several things - write a synopsis or overview, then we should really try to get the idea and thrust of the story down into one sentence.
Next phase in the process is the treatment. As I mentioned, here in the treatment, we don't write much or any dialogue. Writing the dialogue, and it's a lot of fun to write dialogue - is saved for the script, which is great, because it then forces us to write visually. A script is a story told in pictures, with words - not told in words, with pictures.
So here in the treatment, it is the last peg in the process before we write the script. It is a great place to write in prose style, and really "work out" our story. Trust me, if you can make your story work in the treatment form, your first draft of the script will be really strong, and if it could talk, it would thank you!