What changes in your scenes when you reduce or expand them? Screenwriting books almost unanimously call for an economy of words — choosing your words wisely and using less to say more. Practice this. Your Task: Come up with a scene from a movie and write 3 versions of the same scene. Write the first one using a 1/2 page; the second one with 1 1/2 pages; and the third one using 3 pages.
A producer calls you. He wants to see you work on the fly. He wants to see how creative and sharp you can be. Your task: Come up with 25 original movie titles in 10 minutes.
Set yourself up. Create the right conditions to write.
I work best when…
Dialogue can be used as an exposition of character. It can also be used to advance action. Advancing action moves the plot forward from one scene to the next. Your task: Write a 2-page scene where dialogue is used to advance action.
Taking a movie out of the genre it was written for can be an excellent lesson in understanding what a genre is.
Re-write your favorite scene from a movie as if it were part of
You can learn a thing or two about the way you write by delving into what you like.
Identify your favorite scene of all time.
Get that movie and watch the scene.
Let go and write for 10 minutes about the scene.
Why do you like it so much?
What does it bring up for you?
How has it influenced you?
Create a mind map to help you brainstorm the structure of an idea. Place your story idea in the center of the mind map, and see what comes out.
One of the best ways to learn is to practice! Your Task: Read Screenwriter John August’s blog entry, “How To Write A Scene.” Following the instructions (minus step 11), grab an article from today’s news and write it into a movie scene.
Running low on our own ideas creates the best motivation to ask our friends. Your task: Pick ten people you know and write a brief character description for each of them. Ask each of them what one defining moment in their lives was, and one character trait that changed in that moment. Write this as a character ark. For each character, write a paragraph-long plot summary for this event.
It’s been said that a writers’ main tool is the question, “What if?” With this simple query, we can explore any ordinary event’s limitless plot possibilities. Your task: Get a copy of today’s newspaper. Read 5 articles with our question in mind. What if she stole the money? What if those soldiers were plotting something? What if that man was lying? Write out one movie idea for each article you read.