Welcome back to The Write Stuff, Stuffers! Hope you found last week's interview helpful and entertaining. Adam's closing thoughts coincided beautifully with what I had planned for this week's post. A lot of you have questions about getting an agent and making contacts, and that's all important and we'll get there. But a majority of you just want to know how to come up with an idea and get started. Read on...
1) Watch a ton of movies and read a lot of scripts.
Sure, you watch a lot of flicks already, but you need to become an active viewer. Ask yourself questions. Who is the protagonist? Who or what is the antagonist? What does the lead character want? What obstacles are standing in his or her way? How does he or she overcome them? What are the characters saying in a given scene? What are they thinking? Are these two different things?
If you're watching a comedy and it makes you laugh, how did it make you laugh? Whether it's sparkling dialogue or a kick in the balls, there's an art to it. Are you scared watching a movie? Why? Cheering the climax of a film? What got your fist in the air? See what I'm saying? And you can learn something from every film, good or bad. If you're watching a movie that sucks, why does it suck? What did this screenwriter do wrong? If it's a thriller and you're bored, why are you bored? Once you pinpoint it, you'll know what to avoid when you sit down to write your script. Try it with the next movie you watch -- really watch, and ask yourself questions.
And even better, get yourself some scripts. They're available all over the internet and at most libraries. How can you write a script if you've never read one? Study your favorites. This will help not only with story construction but also formatting, which we'll get to in the coming weeks.