Writing a screenplay that stands out from the crowd is vital, especially when the odds of selling a screenplay are somewhere around 5,000 to 1, according to an estimate from industry blog The Unknown Screenwriter. It’s just as vital to stay inspired and motivated throughout the writing process as it is to invest in top notch equipment and shooting skills, because your script will ultimately become the foundation of your film project, no matter if it’s the next blockbuster hit or your own labor of indie love.
Writing clear, complex characters is a hallmark of excellent screenwriting. According to The Script Lab, it’s important to know your characters’ comprehensive back story, but keep in mind that all of that information won’t make it into your final script. If you’re getting stuck in a tough scene where you’re only coming up with boring, stereotypical actions for your main character, try doing some free writing and put your character into a range of different situations, then watch how they act. What would your character do in an airport if told that they have to be booked on a later flight? What would your character do if told a secret about a nemesis at work? Dream up a whole range of possible conflicts to really flesh out this person in your head, and you’ll find greater inspiration to keep going and bring this realistic, unique character to life through compelling scenes.
Engaging Screen Directions
While dialogue is obviously important to bringing out character, it’s important not to overlook the power of well-written stage directions. Consider adding these in on your second draft. Focus first of getting the macros of each scene plotted out in your head. Once the main elements of the story are present, you can enhance your script with clear stage directions that signify both powerful physical movement as well as interiority. This can be particularly powerful if you have a character who doesn’t speak very much. Tag their few lines with some emotionally charged stage directions. Your readers will be better able to imagine the scene from page to screen. Once you have stage directions you feel good about, be sure to take the additional step and going through to make sure their formatted appropriately depending on the guidelines you’re working with. Generally, the use of italics and brackets is acceptable, but always double check to make sure your script looks professional.
Brain Breaks to Stay Inspired
Creating a film from scratch is an intense process that’s definitely more marathon that sprint. If you find yourself getting stuck after long hours at the desk, be sure to take breaks to allow yourself to recharge and stay inspired. Physical activity can be a great respite from the still hours spent writing, but it’s also to watch some of the films that made you want to create in the first place. Today’s providers have a range of options for getting the best in new releases, classics, and premium cable offerings; visit www.GetDirectTV.org for a taste of some of the packages out there, and build in some time to relax, put your feet up, and lose yourself once more in movie land.