Before A Screenwriter Types ‘Fade In:’ On A Screenplay

Erik Bork, Author/Screenwriter: To me probably the most important thing is to understand what the elements are of a viable story idea and to make coming up with one your main priority and take time and get the feedback necessary on your just ideas before you launch into 6 months or a year or even several years writing and rewriting a script because you can write and rewrite a script endless times to make it somewhat better. But if it was based on an idea that always was going to have a tough time moving forward no matter how you executed it a manager or agent would call that somewhat wasted time.

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Michael Hauge, Story Consultant, Author and Lecturer: Any story…you can talk about an epic poem, you can talk about a myth, you can talk about a fairytale, you can talk about a children’s book, they are all built on character desire and conflict. Every story that I can think of almost without exception if it’s a narrative story (has a beginning, middle and end) is going to be about a character that desperately wants something and something stands in their way.

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Dr. Ken Atchity, Author/Producer: It has to have a hook that gets people instantly involved in the story and that is a huge part of the story itself. And it’s got to have a very strong character in the story that you care about. And other than that it has to have twists and turns that lead to a surprise ending and if I had to say just three things, I guess that’s what I would say the three things are. Every story needs that because a story about nothing is not going to hold anyone’s interest. And sometimes writers when they begin their careers think that they if they just write they can write about anything. But the truth is they need to write from their heart about things that matter to everyone and if you do that you can hardly go wrong. It’s not really about words or words choice. They are about conveying a power of a character facing a dilemma that you have no idea he or she will resolve and when you do that, you’ve got everyone’s attention.

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Cecilia Najar, Writer/Story Consultant and Script Doctor: Stories in general are not plot. We think they are plot, but they’re not (they’re emotions). They are moments that generate emotion. So if you become more concerned with the things inside you that feel like they are emotional and you get those emotions on the page or in a scene, you can find ways to create the internal logic of a story to bring them together. So it’s just shifting from plot into emotion really…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

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