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Outline or straight out of the box?

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Screenwriting Bar & Lounge
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Screenwriting Competitions or Screenwriting in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=20967
Printed Date: 22 Aug 2019 at 6:08pm
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Topic: Outline or straight out of the box?
Posted By: SisterRosetta
Subject: Outline or straight out of the box?
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 9:33am
Just curious as to what people find most helpful?

Do you plan thoroughly before starting to write the script, or just let rip? Or plan the complicated scenes thoroughly, and leave others to write themselves?

Would appreciate any advice in this area (what do you find most helpful in prep, before committing to writing dialogue?)



Replies:
Posted By: JeffreyHowe
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 10:36am
This round of this contest is the one where I will take a little time to think a story through and then try it out.  Mostly because it's the only one with enough time to even consider that approach, at least for me.

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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 11:16am
I start writing a story as soon as I have an inkling, then when it seems cohesive enough I go straight to screenplay.


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Posted By: LemonTwist
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 11:35am
I prefer to plan quite extensively - this way I can identify the excess, unnecessary scenes early and not waste time writing them and cutting them out later

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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 12:33pm
Originally posted by SisterRosetta SisterRosetta wrote:

Just curious as to what people find most helpful?

Do you plan thoroughly before starting to write the script, or just let rip? Or plan the complicated scenes thoroughly, and leave others to write themselves?

Would appreciate any advice in this area (what do you find most helpful in prep, before committing to writing dialogue?)


Yes.

I'll do both.  Causal logic is important (why the characters do what they do), so that gets mapped out.  The motivation for an unusual action must be revealed at some point, before or after.

The details of a scene typically write themselves.  I'll take notes and come up with possible dialog ahead of time, but as I write it what comes before and after does the rest.

Then I go back and kill needless words.  Should do that sooner; I'm not good enough yet.


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Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 2:23pm
I'm forcing myself to create a beatsheet - and even more so, to use the Save the Cat beatsheet - because screenplays have such an inherent structure and where I've failed in the past is I can write pages and pages of dialogue but there's no real plot. 

I found this beat sheet calculator to modify to 12 pages - am finding it really helpful in figuring out my actual story so far (though I kind of screwed up my subject). Here it is in case it's helpful.

http://beatsheetcalculator.com/beatsheet.php" rel="nofollow - http://beatsheetcalculator.com/beatsheet.php

I use to be staunchly anti-outline and then I didn't write for years and now I am rethinking my approach for screenplays. Not so much for prose, though I'd probably try and come up with bullet points for a novel of some sort. 


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Posted By: SisterRosetta
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 7:04pm
Originally posted by BarbaraFL BarbaraFL wrote:

I'm forcing myself to create a beatsheet - and even more so, to use the Save the Cat beatsheet - because screenplays have such an inherent structure and where I've failed in the past is I can write pages and pages of dialogue but there's no real plot. 

I found this beat sheet calculator to modify to 12 pages - am finding it really helpful in figuring out my actual story so far (though I kind of screwed up my subject). Here it is in case it's helpful.

http://beatsheetcalculator.com/beatsheet.php" rel="nofollow - http://beatsheetcalculator.com/beatsheet.php

I use to be staunchly anti-outline and then I didn't write for years and now I am rethinking my approach for screenplays. Not so much for prose, though I'd probably try and come up with bullet points for a novel of some sort. 

Very interesting, thank you! Will look into this when I'm reshaping things a little, to see if it works better with things moved around.


Posted By: Vernacula
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 7:20pm
I create loose outlines in my head (but don't always follow them if better directions present). My first drafts look very much like my finals.

When I'm struggling to even start, though, I write short little summaries of ideas to see if the story interests me. It's usually in the middle of one of these that the "real" story pops up...and off I go!

Sometimes I have a complete story that's passable, but I'm just not interested. If it's a drag to write it's usually my mind telling me: this ain't it, chief. LOL


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