Seal of APproVal

A dog cemetery. Nothing to do with the post.

I was able to clean episode 5 up yesterday and officially have a full story. Today is my day to write so I plan on touching it up before sending it out for feedback. Once it receives the official “it’s ok” seal of approval I’ll be ready to advance toward actual production.

One aspect of screenwriting that I enjoy much more than novel writing is the prevalence of dialogue on each white page. Expressing the inner monologues of characters is not an option for screenwriting (unless, you know, it’s told that way). This makes the motivation of the characters to be more important and difficult to portray.

I like dialogue heavy scripts because I can easily access scenes from the vantage point of each character. I start with my main character and progress through each scene as if I’m standing in his shoes. I judge his reactions, feelings, and lack of response by how I would respond in that same situation. Each character we sculpt as writers is an aspect of our own personalities. I always try to frame a character by a specific theme that drives them. Ryan, my main character, is always driven by his gut instinct. He acts on intuition above all else.

Another benefit about reading through your story this way is that it allows you to find opportunities for conflict that you may not have seen previously. As I proceed through the story I frequently ask “what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen here?” It can be a challenge at times to help your character discover a way out of a tricky situation, but that will make for fulfilling entertainment. It will also determine who your character is in the eyes of your viewer/reader. Character always reveals itself when facing a difficult decision under pressure:

Imagine there’s a gun to your head. The person holding it tells you that you must choose between giving him your wallet or beating a nearby pedestrian down until they handover theirs. The ethical and moral conflicts provide intrigue, the decision you make will define you (in the eyes of others).

I have another zoom meeting today with the meetup groups I’ve formed in the area. I’m looking forward to it, though I have to be honest I am exhausted and rapidly declining. Nevertheless I have discovered that maintaining a sense of community helps me stay focused on my goals along with my dreams and ambitions. Enjoy your Sunday.

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