If you want to learn the craft of screenwriting, here are five practices you need to adopt:
Think Concepts. Watch Movies. Read Scripts. Write Pages. Live Life.
Monday, I wrote about Think Concepts.
Tuesday: Watch Movies.
Wednesday: Read Scripts.
Today: Write Pages.
It is – the blank page!
How can a mere 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of white paper provoke such anxiety, such horror, such despair?
The despair of the blank page – the writer’s bane!
Laying eyes upon the blank page provokes a catch in your breath, a twitch in you muscles, that special tightening in your sphincter.
Fear. But fear of what?
Fear of the not knowing. Not knowing what words will appear… or won’t appear. Not knowing if the words will make sense. Not knowing if the sentences will be good. Not knowing if the story will work.
I could lay a little “power of positive thinking” on you. You know…
Imagine the possibilities!
My experience with those positive thinking platitudes is that when your blank page remains blank, the writer’s life becomes about the power of positive drinking. And look where that got Hemingway!
Thus, instead of behavioral modification, let me suggest a more philosophical, even, dare I say, spiritual approach.
I ask you to consider the possibility that your story already exists.
It is already there… all 120 pages. From FADE IN to FADE OUT. Written. Rewritten. Edited. Spell-checked. Properly formatted. And ready to go.
The story concept exists already.
The characters exist already.
The plot exists already.
The dialogue exists already.
The themes exist already.
It is there, waiting for you to find, uncover and reveal it.
Okay, Myers, if it’s waiting for me, then where is it hiding out ‘coz I sure as hell can’t find it!!!
Your story’s right there… on your blank page.
“The despair of the blank page: it is so full.”
That’s right, your challenge isn’t the emptiness of your blank page, it’s that there is so much there already. All you need to do is see it…
And you’ll see it when you believe it.
You can choose to stare at that blank page. Sometimes that is quite valuable – clear the mind, focus your thoughts, go into a state of deep concentration. But in general, the best way to find your story on the blank page… is to start writing.
Believe it… then you’ll see it.
Start writing. And watch the magic of your story reveal itself to you… as your blank pages becomes full.
Tomorrow: Live Life.