Posted by: steveonfilm | November 15, 2011

Screenwriting Tip #806

I was browsing Xander Bennett’s Screenwriting Tips… You Hack, as I do quite often, and I came across this tip the other day:

“Try this: write the first few pages of the script before you outline. You probably already know how it starts, and those one or two pages will give you a feel for the world and a toehold in the story.”

I thought this was a great idea… and I had a project I was just starting to explore, so I decided to take Xander’s advice and jump right in.

I cranked out 4 pages, almost five. It wasn’t anything fantastic, but it gave me a good sense of the world and two main characters. One thing that I found funny when I read back over what I came up with, I HATE how I introduced the male lead, Parker Onyx.

The conversion is fine, but his introduction is not nearly active enough. I should have had a scene where we see him in his element. Then, the female lead shows up and I could cut back to the office and the conversation I originally wrote.

But hey, this is just experimentation, and it helped me get a feel for the characters a bit, and the world they live in.

Doing this reminds me a lot of when I do “free screenwriting” and just plop down scenes as I do my outlines. But I’ve never written scenes BEFORE outlining, just during to game things out and experiment. I can already see how doing some scenes before outlining can get your juices flowing.

It was a good experiment. You should give it a try yourself.

Keep writing!


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