From Idea, to Story, to ScreenPlay
It certainly takes a lot of work making a gem of an idea into a story and then that story into a screenplay. I find it's best to start working on a broad outline first.
- Use heuristics (questions you ask yourself to bring out hidden knowledge).
- Who is my main character?
- What is their overriding goal?
- What are the forces acting against the main character?
- What are the forces that can help the main character?
- What are the levels of conflict? Overarching - personal - emotional - spiritual - environmental. How does the main character relate to each of these conflicts? What interesting flaws might they have that make them relate to the audience?
- Are the answers to these questions significant enough to engage the audience that I am aiming at?
Once you believe you have these answered satisfactorily then move onto structure.
- How do I present the main conflict to the audience in an engaging way?
- How do I introduce my main character and their relation to the main conflict in an engaging way?
- How do I present the setting to the audience in an engaging way?
- What initial steps does the main character take toward satisfying his or her goal?
- What obstacles arise that get in the way of the main character's initial steps?
- In what way do the obstacles raise the stakes in the main conflict? In what way do they keep raising them higher and higher?
- In what way do the challenges that block the main character accelerate the momentum of the story to keep the audience glued to their seat?
- What complications arise that make the conflict more consequential or even introduce new wrinkles to the character's dilemma?
- Is the main character forced to make consequential choices?
- At the end of the second act, what does the main character finally realize is the key to solving each one of his conflicts? Does he even realize that the final goal was not what he thought it might be at the beginning of the story?
- Having realized what is needed to solve the main conflict, how does the main character quickly bring it to its conclusion and solve each one of the conflicts that have prevented him from realizing his goal?
- How can this happen quickly?
Source(s): Features support