Screenwriting for fun and not profit.
June 5, 2012 10:18 PM Subscribe
I have no aspirations of being a screenwriter; I'd just like to write a
screenplay. I've been jotting down and scrawling ideas, on and off, for the longest time. How do I connect 1 to 2a to 2b to 3?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Everyone's got at least one good idea for a story, and I'd really like to get mine on paper. The extent of my writing history has been in comic strips, and short satirical fanfic. I feel like once I just got something down, I'd do much better at the revision part of things.
I've read a handful of books, including "Save the Cat," the similar but less grating "My Story Can Beat Up Your Story," "20 Master Plots," Syd Field, and McKee's dense but informative "Story." And I can read more screenplays (and keep watching more movies), but that feels akin to being asked to coach and train a sports team after just being a spectator.
I have a very broad sequence of events in mind, and a somewhat more defined set of characters and backstories. There's a list of favorite movies whose "feel" I'd like to capture (Hitchcock in particular, like Lady Vanishes and North by Northwest).
Where do I go from here to connect the dots and put meat on the bones just to get the basic outline part done? Whenever I try to take some serious steps into this, it gets a bit overwhelming.
I think one part of the problem is finding a story path and sticking with it, rather than constantly considering each and every alternative (eg, who lives/dies, who meets whom when). Another is figuring out the logistics of the world the movie takes place in ("What exactly would a cop do in this situation?")
What's worked for you if this isn't something you devoted your whole life to doing? And if it is, what's a good simple approach to make some serious progress?