Where to start?
Sometimes you discover something that you enjoy doing. Even though it's hard work, you do it and you keep at it because you enjoy doing it.
I'd always wanted to write. I think this was because I enjoyed reading as a kid. You pick up a book and you can let your imagination run wild.
When you pick up a book and read it, how you imagine what's going on and how you see the characters, the world, will be different to someone else who reads the same book. That's what's so great about reading, everyone will have their own personal experience and how they connect with the material will be different.
So when I discovered screenwriting. It was the best of two worlds. I enjoyed reading when I was a kid, but I also enjoyed the movies.
And screenwriting was a way into both.
I got into the game a little late. I wish I had gotten into it sooner. But I don't think that's a reason not to do something. Can you put an age limit on what you enjoy doing? Should you let that stop you? I don't think so. And that's a whole different blog.
Writing that first screenplay.
I got into this after I had been to see a film. It wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't what I had been hoping for. I was rather disappointed when I left the theater.
The following day, I tried to find out some stuff about writing a screenplay.
I found some information on format and decided to have a go.
I wrote a very sketchy outline and jumped straight in writing this thing. I had no idea what I was actually doing. I think it took four or five months to complete.
It was a superhero amalgamation. At the time of writing, I wasn't aware of copyright issues or that it was a complete waste of time. You could say that it was some terrible fanboy script.
I finished it and was extremely proud of this thing that I had written.
It wasn't very good. It had a good idea at the heart of it. But no matter what I did. It would've turned out bad.
It was this that got me into the world of screenwriting.
Do I wish that I had done it differently?
I hadn't read any books.
I hadn't read anything on the internet about story structure.
The only thing that I was aware of. Was format to some degree.
I think one of the best ways to get into this.
Is to watch movies and read a bunch of produced , unproduced and amateur screenplays and analyze them.
See what you connect with.
Books are good. Don't get me wrong. And there a couple of good ones around.
But to get the most out of them. I think you should write two or three screenplays first.
Get a feel for writing first.
Then buy a couple of books. Read through them.
Then you can apply some of the techniques to some of your projects and see if they work.
But remember, you are the writer.
It's your world.
The world you're putting down on the page is your creation.
That's the job of the writer.
No book, seminar is going to write a story for you. That's your job. You are the writer after all. And the only way you'll improve is by writing as much as possible and getting feedback on your work.
Most of the time. Writing is rewriting.
I really hope some of that makes sense.
Keep at it.
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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Screenwriting from Iowa
Chris Jones Blog
Go Into The Story
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Writers & their Blogs
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