One of the most challenging aspects of starting a journey in the craft of screenwriting is the beginning. The blinking cursor almost seems to mock you as you stare at it. So here’s how I handle the blinking cursor.
An easy way to avoid the sting of the blinking cursor is preplanning. Prep work on a project can be of the utmost importance. I have already peeled a piece that details my process as a screenwriting novice. And in that piece, I go over how outlining has helped me avoid the dreaded blank screen and blinking cursor. Preplanning can consist of more than just an outline.
In researching the topic of screenwriting, I’ve listened to many interviews with screenwriters, and some don’t outline but plan out certain aspects of the script. Some writers will begin by writing out key points in their scripts and then proceed to write the screenplay out until all of the preplanned points are gone. Whatever style you find most helpful, go with it. Preplanning is one way to combat the blinking cursor.
Confide in a Confidant
Having that trusted ally, you can tell your story to can help make the blank page less intimidating. When we verbalize our story, we can begin to see it take shape. The taking of this shape allows us more insight into the depths of the piece, thus attack the blinking cursor before we sit down to write.
Everyone may not find this method helpful because they don’t want someone stealing their ideas. For this, I find telling the story to someone who has watched a significant number of films, but it’s inclined to pursue the art form of screenwriting is the best person for the job. Speaking the story out loud and into existence can help make the writing part easier.
Follow Nike’s Suggestion: Just Do It
The most significant way to avoid the blinking cursor is just to begin writing. Many people say that screenwriting is just rewriting, a long, painstaking case of rewriting. But John Truby, the author of “The Anatomy of Story,” says that the first draft is critical because the first draft gets used as the foundation of all other drafts.
So when I suggest that you just begin writing, I don’t say it to have you write whatever and hope for the best. Write with a purpose. If there’s a scene or a character that you know, write it, write them. If there’s something unique about your story, write it out, it serves two purposes, one you don’t forget it and two your making progress.
In the end, every time you sit down to write and the blinking cursor begins to laugh and mock you, remember that you have the power and poise within yourself to create. The blinking cursor isn’t an enemy but merely an ally waiting on your command. So happy writing Ledger Nation