Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Focus on the Little Pieces

This past week, I decided to focus on the little pieces of a script. I often look at a finished, produced screenplay and think about it's greatness. Before I know it, I'm overwhelmed.

Instead of staying overwhelmed this week, I decided to study the element of "writing description." Here's what I relearned:
  • All action and description must reveal character or move the story forward.
  • The more vivid the description, the more the character and scene come to life.
  • Description should also foreshadow what's to come in the story.
  • Description focuses on three elements of 1) action, 2) setting and characters, and 3) sounds.
  • Keep paragraphs to four lines or under.
  • Be sparse with physical description of locations and characters.
  • Describe what the audience can actually see on the movie screen and hear on the soundtrack.
  • Use specific, concrete verbs and nouns to describe character vs. general ones.  Think about "how" someone is doing the action. (Entertain vs. inform.) 
  • Avoid redundancies in narrative description. 
  • FINALLY - Practice writing great description every day!
I've taken this lesson seriously! Now onward and upward!

What did I do this past week to advance my screenwriting?
  1.  Read "Breaking Bad" pilot script
  2.  Worked with Anne Jordan, scriptwriter, on my TV pilot script
  3.   Reread sections in books - Anne Jordan's The Big Secret,  Blake Snyder's Save the Cat and Dave Trottier's Screenwriter's Bible - on "narrative description" 
  4.  Attended Northern California's Screenwriters group


I would love to hear from you...