By Rohan Gadi, New Delhi
There is no formula to write a script, there is no conventional method, no modernistic method. How can there be a way to write something in a particular format? How is that even creative? Writing a script is performing art, writing everything that you have in your mind?
At the same time, a person who is just starting out needs to know the basics, the steppingstone to discover themselves and the storyteller within them.
Don’t write a script just because you want to write one. A story should not be forced out of you just because you want to write one. This should be the first thing in your mind when you start writing a script.
Now, if you have a strong story in your mind that you believe should be put out there, you write one. Most of the people who have ideas keep it in their minds and don’t write it down because they are too afraid to make it happen, or maybe too lazy to get it all out and start working on their ‘perfect idea.
So the first step of writing a script is:
Start writing one
What is worse than a bad script?
A blank page.
If you have something, you can work on it again. You can ask for reviews from your peer writers or close friends but if you have not even written anything, you don’t have anything to present, to tell. The first step to write a script is to get out of your comfort zone and your bubble of fear that you live in, just start with whatever is in your mind. You will write a bad one for sure, but how will you become better if you don’t even start.
Motivate yourself by consuming art
The next big difficulty that writers face is that they get stuck on a point, then they starts contemplating their script, then their decision to choose to be a filmmaker and then lastly their life. You cannot avoid all this as it is a part of writing. This confusion and the thought of existential crisis, all of it only fuels you to complete your script. But sometimes people stop writing because of these thoughts. To counter this unwanted result, you need to motivate yourself. The only way to motivate yourself is to take in art. Read books, watch films, watch series, consume all the art that you can so that you can appreciate people and their art.
Art is the only thing that gives your life meaning, without it your life will be too mundane and monotonous.
First work on the ending
When you start writing script it is preferred that one should know the ending. You should avoid writing a loose idea. Sometimes it works that you find your story while writing the script but most of the times writers loose themselves in the process. Work on the whole script before writing it but most importantly work on the ending.
Don’t make the script about the story, make it about the character(s)
Martin Scorsese said that you will rewatch a film or remember it because of the character and not because of the story. The quote is more or less true, you can have a great story in your mind but if you don’t have a good character, then the story will not hit the audience.
Characters humanize a script, the emotions felt by them incite an emotion in the audience.
Characters bring the story idea to the people; without them the story would look plain. For example, Inception has a crazy well-written plot, but Leonardo Di Caprio character is so interesting and have so much backstory that you can understand why he does what he does.
If the character was not well written, then maybe the movie would not have been great.
Elucidate on your set design and characters in the script For your actors, for the people who will work on your script they need to know everything around the movie through the script.
The script should make a crystal-clear image of the movie so that you can make exactly the same thing that you imagined in your mind.
Stay with your script: rewrite and edit
When you have completed the script, read the script again and again. Find mistakes, loopholes, scrutinize it, appreciate it. Share your first draft with your peer, ask them for honest reviews. Don’t be egoistic, don’t love your film neither hate it. This is the last step and the most crucial one. You can only understand your script and make it better if you spend time with your script.
Leave your script for some time and come back at it, work in it and read it afresh so that you can also act as a neutral audience for your script. These steps don’t offer a pitch-perfect script but if you are starting or you are having a creative block, this article will help you.