What is the difference between story and screenplay in film scripts?

What is a Script All About?

Although based on the same incident, both story and screenplay still have disparities. A script is a written text generally created for a film, play, TV serial, etc. Only a script provides a very elaborated explanation of the incidents and characters. A script is created for both movies based on a story. Therefore, we can consider the story as an account of real and imaginary events. A script also gives an opportunity to the actor to comprehend the nature of the character, personality, likes and dislikes. Moreover, as per the demand scriptwriters write their script in the present tense as well as in the dialogue form.

A script comprises multiple scenes and the climate is nicely mentioned in each scene. For instance, what the actor is going to perform. What are his/her dialogues and what are his movements? It is true that a script can get its inspiration from a story. In such case, the scriptwriter tries to catch the mood of the book through his script. While making a film, a script works as an outline since many mediums are intertwined.

What Is A Story?

On the other hand, a story consists of a plot, characters, chapters, etc. Different modes of storytelling like novels, short stories, blogs, narratives all have a story to tell and they are very popular these days. This clearly suggests that a story refers to two different things. In a story, the reader is left along with his imagination on many points so that he can explore the universe on his own. While you will get even minute details in a script and no room for imagination is left while writing this.

As opposed to a script, a story can be referred to as an account of real incidents. For instance, the story of a novel or short and comprehend the specific elements that can be observed in a story. A story gives the reader a clear account of characters through even some subplots. Chapters in a story also suggest the same and through each chapter, the writer slowly builds up his story.

Like in a script, a story also carries characters. However, the nature of these characters is, generally, not described to the reader as far as the script is concerned. As the story takes a flight, the reader starts understanding each character comprehensively. To be very specific, a story is a journey where new information about the characters is revealed to the reader and it develops the story more interesting. However, everything remains in the prose form. It leaves the reader to use his own interpretation to embrace the story in a more dynamic form.

Basic Differences Between a Story and Script

Definition of story and Script

A script has to be understood as the written text of a play, film, or broadcast.

A story can be defined as an account of imaginary or real events.


A script is inspired by a story

Character Details

In a script, the details of each character are offered in a profile

In a story, the reader has to explore these.

Scenes Vs Chapters

In a script, there are scenes.

In a story, there are chapters.


In a script, imagination does not have much scope.

In a story, a lot is left to the imagination of the reader.


A script is in a dialogue form.

A story is in prose form.


A script is in the present.

A story is not in the present.

Updated on: 30-Jul-2019

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