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From what I've been told, there are two important parts to a drama: 1) story (or "message" in your words), and 2) characters. That's because the characters are the medium by which your message is conveyed, and the interaction of the characters produces the plot, or "storyline."


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What you want to say will partly determine what you can do. If you want to say that someone is a baby-killing paedophile, and that person is easily identified from what you write, expect trouble. If you just change the names and embroider a story, you shouldn't have to worry. Many people add to what is actually known. I recently watched a film about Anne ...


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The biggest different between a novel and a movie is that in a novel, things are described to the reader. The reader can get inside the character's head, be told what the characters are feeling, what the characters and thinking... This doesn't happen in a movie. A movie can only show, not tell. A screenplay has to be entirely visual (and auditory.) This is ...


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Typically, you would change all the names and present it as fiction (perhaps as "inspired by a true story"). This is called a roman à clef and it's a widely used technique to allow poetic license with the truth while avoiding legal trouble. Even with this approach, however, people have still been sued, so you might want to use caution.


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Have you ever watched a "docudrama"? These days, even straight-up documentaries on TV often include "dramatic re-enactments" of key scenes. I often find such docudrama frustrating because, if I don't already know the facts, there's no easy way to tell what actually happened, what's been added or altered to make the story more dramatic or otherwise ...



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