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The First Ten Pages!

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

How important are the first ten pages of your script? I'll give you my thoughts....


The first ten pages are crucial because we get introduced to your protagonist and make decisions on whether we like them or not. We also see what their world was like before the big change (the inciting incident).


Here’s the thing: it's the difference between getting noticed by an agent or not. You don’t necessarily need an agent, but it opens doors for you. I personally struggle to read a script beyond three pages if it contains grammatical or formatting errors.


I guarantee you that agents will stop reading if the first few pages are bad. I’m not telling you this to hurt your feelings; I’m saying it because I want you to be successful! We can all use a little encouragement in our lives.

We all have to be amateurs at first, but if you take the time to learn the craft, you will succeed, but that takes time.

The first ten pages are what's going to hook your audience, so it has to be tight. You have to look at it this way: you would probably change the channel on a movie if the first ten minutes didn’t grab your attention, and it’s exactly the same for a screenplay. In the first ten pages, we’ll be introduced to your protagonist, who has to grab the reader's attention. You must establish an emotional connection between the audience and your protagonist.


For example, in the movie "Wanted" (2008)with actor James McAvoy, his character hated his job and his girlfriend was cheating on him with his best friend from work. That immediately made you feel sorry for the main character, and that probably got you hooked.

When you take a screenwriting class, they teach you the importance of storytelling, but more importantly, they teach you the most important rule of screenwriting: Don't be boring!

I’ll put a link down below on the importance of the first ten pages.


The example above gets us to feel for the main character, and that’s exactly what hooks the reader. There has to be some kind of connection between the audience and the protagonist. I’m not telling you what to write; I’m just suggesting that you make the audience care about the protagonist and his foreseeable demise or dilemma. If you can give me a reason to care about your protagonist within the first ten pages, then you've got me hooked!



When you take a screenwriting class, they teach you the importance of storytelling, but more importantly, they teach you the most important rule of screenwriting: Don't be boring!


Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure at least the first ten pages are error-free.

  • We should know who the protagonist is; there should be no confusion.

  • Establish an emotional connection between the audience and the protagonist.

  • Your protagonist should be interesting in some way. In the example above, James McAvoy was a loser, and we felt sorry for him, so he was interesting.

  • Most importantly, your script should not be boring! Make sure your protagonist is dealing with something, whether it's good or bad.


I’ll put a link down below on the importance of the first ten pages.

The link below is to an article on the importance of the first ten pages. I hope it helps!



I would like to hear from all my fellow writers and creatives!

Good luck and happy writing!


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I’m here to give upcoming writers a little support by giving them some small pointers. This is not getting too technical, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.

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https://www.esonefilms.com




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