Friday, November 03, 2006

INNER AND OUTER DIALOGUE
I'm not saying i'm a great authority, I've written 2 full length scripts, and in my opinion both of them wouldn't be made. But they were based on good ideas. Concepts that I absolutely loved. Maybe a little too much.

Everyone wants to write a screenplay or at least have a crack at it. And to be fair its not hard. Anyone can write a screenplay, sitting at a computer and typing really isn't that difficult. But writing well is. And to have a truly well written screenplay you'll go through draft after draft rewriting out inconsistences, logic holes and flaws. Which will take a lot of time. A lot of this can be avoid however if you take the time to really develop your story and characters before words even hit
the page.

I'm not a big Robert Mckee fan, I found "Story" really wasn't the be all and end of saviours in terms of screenwriting. Its a necessary read. But if you really have a problem you can usually write your way out of it by just taking a page or two of blank paper and freehand writing out all the problems you have. And free associating the problem on paper with your original notes. Most of the time this will work. Especially in terms of plot. However its all to easy to just go "This is garbage" and stop writing.

Sometimes love can blind you. When you start writing sometimes you can love a concept so much that you become violently resistant to any kind of change. If it contradicts your grand vision you'll say "Thats not what this is" as if you've written the bible and either simply ignore it and keep writing in defiance or you'll just leave your script unfinished.

Don't do either. Get a piece of paper and write out what you think is wrong and look at your original notes.

Writing is change. Too many writers who start out get too precious with their ideas when it comes to constructive criticism. They don't wanna change it. They think there idea is great. And chances are it is. But in writing if someone notices something, you have to be willing to go straight back to your desk and work through the problem rather than so precious with your ideas. Studios will give you notes to change things, and things will never be your exact vision. So if you wanna be a success in screenwriting you have to be willing to change. And be aware of conventions. You can't change the suspense value of a knife over a gun for instance.

The same thing kind of goes for when you've written your first draft and you suddenly realise its not much like your original concept. This can be down to a whole variety of reasons. But don't throw a tantrum and storm off or go off with another idea. And don't keep writing (unless its really good) just read through it and put some words on paper at why it isn't working. List your problems and write out your concept again. (Syd Field has some really good exercises for this)

There's no such thing as writers block, thats just your head telling you somethings missing. But in screenwriting simply free associating some words on paper will get you out of so many holes. And my current script is all the better for it by me just sitting at the table and writing out whats wrong.

If you don't know the problem, you can't fix it. This will help you find the problem. Works for me.

IN MY DVD PLAYER TONIGHT: Crimson Tide
WHERE I AM IN MY SCRIPT: Coming up with a prologue

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