Go On Your Own Quest — Week 10: Prep

September 16th, 2013 by

The 2013 version of The Quest starts Week 10 today. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by because you can Go On Your Own Quest by following the structure of The Quest to dig into screenwriting theory [Core – 8 weeks], figure out your story [Prep – 6 weeks], and write a first draft [Pages – 10 weeks]. It’s a 24-week immersion in the screenwriting process and you can do it here – for free!

Plus you can join The Black Board, the Official Online Writing Community of the Black List and Go Into The Story, another free resource to help keep you inspired and on target at you Go On Your Own Quest from FADE IN to FADE OUT on the first draft of your original screenplay.

Today we head into the second week of the Prep phase. I like to think of the drafting of a screenplay as having two parts: Prep-Writing and Page-Writing. While most aspiring writers like to jump into the latter, almost all professional writers know the time to figure out most of the story is in prep.

For those of you who plan to Go On Your Own Quest, let’s continue the conversation we began last week about Prep with this question:

* Do you find brainstorming beneficial and if so, why?

On October 21, you can type FADE IN, then over a ten week period write your first draft.

Why not use the structure of this 24-week workshop to Go On Your Own Quest? That was an idea that gathered energy among many members of the GITS community which I described here.

If you’d like to participate in a Prep workshop just like the members of The Quest are doing, you’re in luck. Starting September 23, I’m overseeing the next session of Prep: From Concept To Outline. It’s perhaps the single most popular course we offer through Screenwriting Master Class as it has proven to be hugely successful, enabling writers to break their story, then approach the page-writing part of the process with confidence. You can take this Prep workshop, then have 8 full weeks to write your first draft by the end of the year, more than enough time since you will have a fully fleshed-out outline.

For more information and to enroll, go here.

Meanwhile I encourage you to head to comments to discuss today’s question. And for a related discussion on The Black Board, check out these topics:

For more information on Go On Your Own Quest, go here.


4 thoughts on “Go On Your Own Quest — Week 10: Prep

  1. lisakothari42 says:

    Yes, I love to brainstorm – I love to think about my story and the many ways that it could be told, the many obstacles I could put in the characters’ ways, other ways to play with the theme or have the theme be expressed. Particularly when there is a story problem, I like to think of various ways to solve it and even go down a few of the tracks in order to figure out the best one.

    Brainstorming helps me come up with the best expression of the story. I also love batting ideas around with others as it helps to discern what really sticks and makes a difference.

  2. JoniB22 says:

    Beneficial?? Certainly! Dare I say: imperative.

    If I don’t spend time with a pen in my hand, “noodling things around”, I’d likely feel like I’m missing out. Sure, I’ll scribble around topics and bits of information that may or may not serve any specific purpose in the long run of the story, but invariably, every single bout of brainstorming yields something important, even if it’s merely a single nugget of wisdom or some little detail I didn’t have yet.

    I would much rather noodle around on paper during brainstorming sessions to test out plot and characters and learn what I need to learn BEFORE writing actual script pages. By the time I type FADE IN, all that brainstorming and noodling around will have garnered me a fairly clear path for my story, and since I’m one who likes to travel with a map, this works for me. Detours are fine and adventuresome at times, but at the very least, I like to have a compass! Braintstorming nets me that.

  3. 14Shari says:

    Brainstorming gets the creative juices flowing and it loosens you up. Brainstorming is certainly part of my work process.

  4. Scott says:

    I’m a huge proponent of brainstorming. In fact this week, I’ve laid at the feet of the Questers a zillion brainstorming prompts. Well, not quite that many. The key to brainstorming as to all story development is, in my humble opinion, getting curious. Ask questions. Use them as shovels to dig into the soil of your imagination.

    Let me add this: When I read a script that is basically in the ‘meh’ category or works, but only at a surface level, I know the writer could have benefited from more brainstorming. Especially digging into and living with the story’s characters.

    Brainstorming is one key to writing a great script.

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