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Screenplay Writing

During my pain binge this morning (heh) I actually sat down and wrote a short screenplay. A long time ago when the Earth was new, man was young and dirt was still warm (that being August of last year,) I said I would finish up a screenplay. Well, that big ol' hunk o' turd never got finished so it got scrapped.

Today however, I was able to finish one up in about an hour. I just sat down, fired up Final Draft (and yes I actually paid for it,) and just started plucking away.

I think I've found a personal method to write screenplays better. What I used to do (which obviously didn't work,) was format the screenplay as I was writing. This is a bad idea because you get too involved in the overall setup of the scene. What I do now is just blast out whatever idea is in my head and fix it up later.

This is what I mean (bad way):

INT. OFFICE BUILDING, MORNING

MANAGER is sitting in his office, going through his paperwork. The light above his head is flickering slightly and needs to be changed. His desk is filled with scattered papers and he looks a wreck. He knows a deadline is approaching and is running out of time.

PHONE rings. MANAGER jumps slightly from surprise, takes a deep breath and then picks up the phone.

MANAGER
Hello?

SECRETARY
(on phone)
Yes, Mr. Wilks. Tokyo is
on the line. Mr. Sushimo
would like to speak to you
about the upcoming meeting
later this week.

MANAGER
I.. I can't talk right now.
I have a million other things
to do.

Apologies for the formatting.. I can't get (at present) a blog post to show proper spacing for screenplay format. 😉

The "bad" part above is the initial description of the scene before the dialogue starts. Yes, necessary - but it doesn't need to be written first. In my opinion it should be set up last.

I did this today and wrote the scene descriptions last instead of first. Guess what, I got all the dialogue in I needed to. Yeeee-haw. (grin)

Maybe if I continue this formula I can write a full-length one. Hmm...

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