Quick hello! So at a birthday party the other day it emerged that my writer friend April Henry has a deadline when I do, and that our friend Holly Westlund, who was the birthday girl, is shooting for finishing her w.i.p. also at the same time. So we've been sending each other pep talk emails for the last couple of days, and today April sent a list of prompts and things to think about while writing and this one particularly struck me. It's really close to what I do, with an important step I've been conveniently neglecting, but need to get back to! And with my next scene, I will. Can you guess which one it is?
GENERAL SCENE QUESTIONS
- What needs to happen?
- Who needs to be there?
- Where could it take place? How make it interesting? What activity could characters be doing?
- What’s the most surprising thing that could happen? Brainstorm three different ways it could begin.
- Play it on the movie screen in your head.
- Write a scribble version - five minutes to get the bare minimum down.
- Write the full scene.
(April said she drew this list from HERE, posted by screenwriter John August. His list is longer and more detailed and relates more specifically to screenplays.)
What do you think? Super helpful, no? There's so much that resonates with me.
I like question (3) -- it is the equivalent of my own "What is the coolest way this plot thing might happen?" or "What is the coolest way this information might be revealed?" or whatever.
And I do make myself brainstorm multiple ways, like in question (4). Rarely is the first way the way the best!
I don't really do (5), but it's an interesting idea. Do you do it? Maybe I'll try it.
Question (6) is what I've been neglecting! Going to get back to it though.
Hope these are helpful to you too!
And ... how about some random signage, because why not?
HA HA HA!!! Bacon. *wipes away single laughter tear*
Hee hee. There's a church in our neighborhood that has a drive-by prayer box (what IS that anyway?) that some helpful bypasser has converted to a prayer Xbox, ha ha!
Okay. Back to work!