I can remember that first screenplay I wrote. It was some kind of superhero mash up, it felt like a good idea at the time. If I'm honest, it had a good kernel of an idea at the heart of it, but it just wasn't very good.
Actually, it was pretty atrocious, now that I think about it.
I knew nothing about screenwriting and what exactly it involved or how hard it really is when I wrote it. Looking back, I can honestly say that I'm glad I did write it, if it hadn't been for that first attempt. This writer would never have discovered screenwriting.
I'm currently typing a screenplay that a wrote two-three years ago into Final Draft. As I've been typing this thing and reading it. I've come to realize that it's absolutely terrible. It has a good idea at the heart of it, but the execution of this thing is somewhat lacking to put it politely. It's basically a big pile of steaming horse manure.
Things just happen to the characters for the sake of moving the story forward. It's just bad and if I was giving notes on this thing, I'd be tearing it a new one. The fact that I entered this thing into contests is just ridiculous, not only did it put a dent in my wallet, but I can honestly feel the pain that the reader must've endured while reading this travesty of nonsensical nonsense.
What's become apparent as I've been typing this thing, is that a lot of writers come up with some pretty cool ideas, but it's the execution of the story that inevitably lets them down. If you have an idea for something, sit down with it, let it percolate and grow in your subconscious for a while. And hopefully while it's stewing away in your head, you'll come up with more ideas that will help you turn it into an interesting and entertaining story.
That someone will hopefully enjoy reading.
Don't rush in there and start writing straight away.
- Come up with ideas.
- Write them down.
- Outline the damn thing.
- Have an an idea of where you want to start, where you want to take it and how you want to finish it.
- Plan the damn story.
There is no sure fire way of writing a screenplay, everyone is different, but the above will certainly help in the creative process.
Once all this is done.
Then you can knock out that first draft as quickly as possible.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector.
This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.