The Screenwriting Spark Sequence
THE WORLD OF SCREENWRITING IS BEAUTIFUL…
Writing a screenplay challenges your mind to think deeper than you ever thought possible. Every creative instinct you have can be interpreted, described and realized on the page. It’s a limitless outlet that allows you to express how you see the world and so, every page represents a tiny glimpse inside your mind.
Writing a screenplay is about pouring your heart and soul on the page in order to tell a story that matters. It’s an addiction that occupies your brightest day dreams and defines your darkest fears. In this way screenwriting makes you feel stronger yet vulnerable simultaneously. In between those two forces lies true inspiration and an opportunity to challenge yourself and evolve as an artist and a person.
Every word is important. Every page full of unique ideas. Every screenplay is a work of art. Screenwriting. Is. Beautiful.
However, the world surrounding the purety of writing a screenplay can be overwhelming. Will your script become a movie? Will it win a screenwriting competition? Will your words impress agents and managers? Will your hard work go unnoticed?
Dedicated aspiring screenwriters are willing to do whatever it takes to improve. Research resources, consultations, workshops, groups, coverage, classes, books, websites, forums, documentaries and more are all readily available and utilized daily.
You can become an expert in the craft and a master of the business but nothing compares to the thrill of starting a new screenplay.
That’s where The Screenwriting Spark Sequence comes in. It’s all about the writing. It’s an easy way to break down what it takes to simply write a screenplay. Let everything else go until you finish writing. Focus on improvement and write from the most passionate part of your heart.
Writing a screenplay is complicated and difficult but it is also fun and rewarding. I’ve broken the process down to four simple steps focused on inspiration, development, passion and writing.
Let’s start at the beginning:
EMBRACE YOUR SPARK
A screenplay will never be a success on the shelf in your mind. Many writers struggle to come up with ideas and concepts worthy of a screenplay. Have you found true inspiration? Do you feel compelled to write? Seize the moment! You have the opportinity to make all your screenwriting aspirations a reality. But first you must be able to recognize a great idea and run with it.
Screenwriting can be intimidating but that’s exactly why you MUST trust your instincts. If a particular path presents insurmountable obstacles, just focus on the page and dedicate yourself. Your passion can overcome any challenge if you’re willing to give it a shot.
Craft a concept worth exploring and get ready for an inspiring adventure!
BREAK YOUR STORY
How do you break a story? If you’re unfamiliar with the term, breaking a story is a crucial development stage used to plan your entire screenplay. There are many ways to break a story but they all serve the same purpose. Your screenplay needs a map and it takes a lot of work to get there. Brainstorming, notes, outlines, treatments, breakdowns, index cards, bios & more! You need to breakdown what your story is about and solve any and all problems along the way.
What happens in this story?
Who is this story about?
What themes will this story present?
How does this story begin? End?
What am I trying to say?
When you’re done breaking your story, you should have a sense of what it’s about, who it’s about and what it all means. This stage is extremely important. If you suffer from writer’s block there is a good chance you didn’t break your story and come up with a suitable road map before you began writing.
This is also an extremely creative and inspiring stage in the creative process. This is where you can take risks. You have the freedom to design any sequence your mind can dream up. You can create remarkable characters who make unique choices people will remember. You can craft an interesting and exciting screenplay. You can mold your masterpiece.
Write as many notes as you can. Outline each and every scene if you must. Many people use color coded index cards as a visual map of their tale. Write a short treatment. Write a long treatment. Write character bios. Write rough scenes. Combine these techniques and create your own unique approach to development.
Along the way you will grow attached to the world you’re creating. You’re almost ready to write.
LOVE YOUR STORY
This is THE most important step in any screenwriting adventure. If you don’t love your story, how can you expect readers/viewers to love it? Passion is visible on every single page if you’re in love with the words that occupy them. I’ve already mentioned that screenwriting is hard. So is love. You have to be dedicated. Love your story.
Writing a screenplay will push your emotions to the extreme. You have to nurture your screenplay along but you must also have the courage to let go of elements that may not fit. Writing a screenplay is like falling in love. You have to adore every single moment. Do not take a single sentence for granted.
Only then are you ready to…
WRITE YOUR SCREENPLAY
Page one. Infinite possiblities.
You’ve come up with a brilliant idea. You’ve broken it down and come up with a story worth telling. You’ve fallen in love with that story. It’s time to start writing your screenplay.
This stage will be full of highs and lows. You’ll feel confident and powerful but you will also experience self doubt and fear. That’s what makes screenwriting addictive. Peaks and valleys will come and go but true inspiration is always there to help you stay the course.
This is where your command of the craft takes center stage. You must master structure, style, format, language and most importantly infuse every page with originality. Every page is an opportunity tell an amazing story.
Write YOUR screenplay and rewrite it until it is perfect.
When it’s over, you will experience an overwhelming sense of pride in your accomplishement. But you will also experience sadness. It’s difficult when a journey worth taking comes to an end.
That’s what I find fascinating about the craft of screenwriting. It’s what led to the creation of The Screenwriting Spark. It’s never over when you type FADE OUT and send your screenplay out into the world. Typing THE END simply opens the door to a brand new creative endeavor.
Screenwriters write. Period.
The next idea is already forming in your mind. When inspiration strikes, embrace it, develop it and get ready to fall in love all over again.