A unique phrase.
Do your characters say things that set them apart from the others?
Got characters doing the same thing.
Combine them into one character.
If they're taking up too much screentime, and not adding much to the story.
Get rid of them!
But having a rough idea as to how your story starts, progresses and ends will certainly help when it comes to putting words on the page. This roadmap can be any length, long, short, fat or thin. And as detailed as you want it.
Throw in some dialogue for good measure. Get some of those characters interacting and talking to each other. Pick a scene, and get writing.
There's no single way to write a screenplay, but the more work you do beforehand will certainly help when it comes to the actual writing.
Time to set some new writing goals.
Setting up the situation these characters find themselves in.
Protagonist vs. Antagonist.
What and who is stopping them from achieving these goals?
Currently, I'm working on my third rewrite of the year. At the start of the year, I made it a goal to rework three previous scripts, rather than start any new projects. This was my goal for a twelve-month period. As it stands, I seem to be on target, although getting this third concept to actually work is a lot trickier than I first envisioned. The concept and idea are there, but the actual execution of the story sucked somewhat in previous versions. Great idea! But this story is boring, slow, repetitive, and not much is really happening. Hence, the rewrite. But I'm going off on a tangent.
From experience, setting yourself realistic writing goals is a must. Otherwise, you end up putting way too much pressure on yourself, and not putting enough time, energy and thought into any one project. Writing a million screenplays in a year will not help you in any way, shape or form if they all suck!
As for which project or projects you should consider working on after putting aside that current draft of the one you've just finished.
Again, this is personal.
Have you made a list?
Do you have a folder on your laptop containing five possible ideas and projects that you're considering working on at some point?
Out of those five, which of them have you visualized scenes, characters, an actual narrative for?
How many notes have you made for each of those ideas?
I have a list of four projects.
Out of those projects, the two that I really want to write have by far the most notes. As I write this, I can see the opening scenes or sequence of scenes as the main characters are introduced in one of them. These opening scenes have been playing out in my imagination for quite some time. The same can be said of the other one. As for the third project, that's going to be a rewrite.
Cutting a long story short.
Which story or stories do you feel the most passionate about?
If they're continually playing out in your head, eating away at you, nagging your subconscious, then you probably need to get that first draft down on paper.
The One With The Agent
Excellent podcast. Very insightful. Go here!
Script consultants. Script readers.
That charge silly amounts of money for notes and feedback.
95 percent of screenwriting competitions.
And the list goes on!
These are all businesses that have been created for one thing. And that is to remove your hard earned money from your wallet, and bank account. They're there to make money. That's not to say you shouldn't pay someone a reasonable amount for their time, especially if you find their feedback useful and constructive. Just be weary of people that charge ludicrous amounts of money. Hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars. They may come across as people in the know, but really, if they were that good, they'd be writing scripts and getting movies made, or at the very least, selling their scripts.
99.99 percent of the time, they're not.
That's not to say that you shouldn't enter contests either. I only enter one contest a year, and that's just to see how my work stacks up against other writers. It's also a good way to set yourself a deadline.
And, just because you're a quarter or semi-finalist, doesn't mean you have a badly written script, it just means it didn't gel with whoever was reading it at the time. So keep at it.
It's your writing that matters.
And the stories you tell.
Correcting punctuation and grammar.
Sentence construction, and how the story is laid out on the page.
While the above is important, this is not rewriting.
You might well smile with relief on finishing that first draft. But don't be fooled. You have plenty of work ahead in getting that script up to scratch.
Don't be frightened of getting some feedback on that story you've just finished. Ideally from some trusted sources. Or at the very least, from people who write themselves, and know something about creating story. A lot of writers shy away from getting feedback because they're worried about being told that what they've written isn't very good. But that's the point. You need to know what's working and what's not.
Once you've received feedback, put that finished script and the notes away for a while. Two weeks. Three weeks. A month. Several months. A year! Step away from it. Step back. Put it out of your mind. Forget about it.
Be productive while stepping away from this newly finished project. Start work on the next project that's been bugging you. Make some notes. Come up with some new ideas. Characters. Scenes. Write an outline for this new project. You could even write the first draft.
Once you feel you've been away long enough, go back to the project. Read through the notes you've received. Then read through the script. See what works, and what isn't. A boring first act? Perhaps the second act is dragging? Characters that don't appear to be doing anything? Just because someone has mentioned something, doesn't mean it's right. It doesn't mean it's wrong either. Consider writing a new draft based on feedback that you like. Then consider writing another draft based on the feedback that you're not too keen on. Who knows? You might find that you like that draft.
Take a break.
Re-energize those creative juices.
Then repeat the process.
You need to be constantly writing to be in this.
Because if you're not, someone else will be!
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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