I am very much a novice at the craft of screenwriting, I am focused on learning the basics. And as with anything in life that is worth pursuing, it takes time, energy, and effort. Recently, I posted a piece about a couple of things I learned when I started writing screenplays. So with this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the process I’ve begun using in my screenwriting journey.
Don’t Stop Believin’
Finishing the intro with the word journey left me with the perfect title for this section, Don’t Stop Believin’. Through my short time screenwriting, I’ve learned that mental fatigue and project loathe are real things. When you are sitting down to write (or type) your screenplay, it isn’t something easily accomplished in a couple of afternoons, for most people.
The process of writing a screenplay is a time-consuming endeavor and grueling on the mind and body. So it is imperative that you “Don’t Stop Believing” in yourself and your story. Because inevitably, at some point, you will find yourself questioning your story and your desire to write it. And it’s at that moment that’s it’s vital to channel the musical group Journey and “Don’t Stop Believin”.
The process of outlining a screenplay is something that is debated among the screenwriting community. Some say that outlining is essential, while others don’t believe in it. As a novice screenwriter, I have taken to outlining to flush out the idea in my mind and use that as a guide when the writing process begins. Currently, I am outlining a tv series, and I am mapping/outlining the entire series before I start writing. It is a painstaking process but has already proven fruitful. As in the outlining process, I have been able to flush out some vague ideas into better-formed thoughts to process a better story overall. Everyone must figure out their process, but I believe in outlining.
Whether by divine inspirational or deliberating, ideas are the basis of screenwriting. When an idea forms, screenwriters will begin their stories. When deciding upon the plot and how everything will interact within the story, having a worthwhile idea can give inspiration and drive us through part of the story. But inevitably, we will have that blinking cursor or a blank page and begin questioning everything.
That’s where in my short time screenwriting, I’ve taken outlines so seriously as well as believing that the idea is a good one. Sharing the plot with a trusted friend can assure you that the concept is a compelling and intriguing story. But you can’t become satisfied with merely telling the broad idea. It’s essential to flush out and write the story.
Time to Write
So once you have planned out your story, now begins the most fun yet grueling part-writing out the story. Screenplays can take days, weeks, months, even years to finish. But the key to writing one is actually to write. That may seem obvious and nonsensical to say, but sometimes the hardest part is staring at that screen and writing. So I leave you with the most straightforward yet powerful advice…Go Write.