How I Write Screenplays – Jay Fingers

Jay Fingers, Novelist, Journalist, Editor, and Screenwriter: I think it’s undeniable, every film, every story has that moment.

Film Courage: What is your writing process?

Jay: As I mentioned I have ideas rattling in my head. When I decide that I want to work on something the first thing that I do is I get a composition notebook usually like one of those black and white speckled notebooks and that’s a holdover from junior high. My writing teacher she made us get the black and white speckled notebook, that’s where all of our assignments were (we did them in that notebook) so that’s just stuck with me to this day. I get a notebook, write the working title on the cover and the first page is reserved for the title and character names. I usually start with the protagonist. Once I’ve got that notebook, every idea, every thought that I have about this story goes into that notebook. There’s no real rhyme or reason, aside from the first page, I don’t have a section for dialogue or anything like that. Everything that I’ve been thinking goes into that notebook. If I go out to have lunch or whatever and something hits me that I think would be perfect, I come back and I put it in that notebook. Once I have kind of like all the notes and everything I craft my outline. My outlines are not too detailed (they’re pretty spare) and this is because once I have…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Jay Fingers is a novelist, journalist, editor, and emerging screenwriter. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, before attending film school at the University of Miami. After college and working in Miami Beach’s nightlife scene for several years, Jay moved to New York City — Brooklyn, specifically — where he wrote four books: Guestlist, Kisses for Tati, Orange Mound and Manhattan Sweetheart. Deciding to fully pursue his lifelong screenwriting ambitions, Jay relocated to Los Angeles, where he currently lives and has been tirelessly working on spec scripts.






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