Discovery

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Discovery is an exhilarating feeling.  I can only imagine how Christopher Columbus felt… discovering something for the first time even though hundreds of others already knew.  Still, at least for me, it remains an epiphany.

Yes, I know a little about industry formatting while grabbing hold of a reader’s attention and never letting go.  Yes, I’m aware of first imagery, escalation, and the order in which that imagery is created (thanks Max Adams). Then what didn’t I know? Well, that’s quite a lot but let’s stick to the topic.

That first thirty pages of a screenplay isn’t even about getting produced.  Heavens to murgatroyd! Unclench those pearls!  I’m speaking about establishing oneself as a writer for hire.  Although, admittedly, at the finish of every script I begin practicing my Academy speech (hint, hint, wink, wink).  I digress.  That first thirty is about mobilizing the reader.  It’s about making him or her pick up the phone and call the gatekeepers.  It’s about creating value… not only for you but for them.  It’s about warning the powers that be that a flood is coming and you have just built the only ark. Yes, baby, you better get on board! It’s going to be a fantastic voyage! And so sorry, I’m not sorry, if you miss the boat.

So, with this new knowledge, I am taking pen to paper and creating a brand.  A very specific, distinct, brand called Anita Williams.  I am wielding my pen, telling thrilling stories, adventurous tales and hatching crimes.  I’m spreading love, exposing history, unraveling drama and entering new worlds.

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Dialogue

The Dog Walker Sample

UnknownDialogue is easy to write but great dialogue… now that’s a whole new ball game.  I’m searching for a way to make each character distinctive, have a voice of their own but, at the same time, be true, relevant and believable.  I want the reader to dote on every word each character speaks.  Moreover,  I want the audience to go home with the memory of what was said.  I want them to repeat what was said.  For that to happen they have to feel what was said.

 

Polish it!

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Understanding the medium you are writing for is paramount. My sole purpose is to make that gatekeeper hand over the keys to the kingdom.  So, I want to grab that reader by the jugular and never let go!

I started polishing my scripts by going in hot pursuit of words like: is, are, that, then, walk, sit, stand, look, just, begin, start and turn to name a dozen.  I changed these words and was left with a much more clear and solid read. Jesse turns to watch him metamorphosed into Jesse watches him. Rick is walking transformed into Rick tromps. In other words I exchanged a posh novel way of writing for a more crisp and painless style. After all, I am writing action genre films.

Whitewashed Sample

Moving Day Sample

 

 

Focus

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For me, the focus is on a mixture of techniques when starting a new screenplay. I begin with seven little paragraphs.  They include the balance, catalyst, big event and so on – you know… the normal elements of story but not necessarily in that order. Once those gems are complete, I create an outline of events that need to happen  (along with their complications), to get me to each of those elements.

I’ll admit that once I start writing new twists and turns sometime develop and then it’s back to the drawing board (lol).

ScreenCraft

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WHAT?

Deciding what genre and what medium isn’t an easy task.  I’m not one to put all my eggs in one basket but I don’t want to be a “jack of all trades and master of none” in terms of writing either.  So I narrowed it down to concentrating on Screenwriting for the most part.  For the stories inside bursting to see the light of day that are not especially visual, I decided to try my hand at writing Novellas.  Stay tuned!

WHERE?

Find your happy place, a quiet nook, a park, a library or whatever place summons your muse.  I write at my desk, in front of the window – occasionally looking up to see the geese come and go, in bed with my laptop and a drink propped on my tray or on the living room couch.  I’ve tried writing outdoors – it’s sounds so poetic but the distractions, for me, become limitless.

WHEN?

The time of day I write changes but I am most creative during the evening hours.  Find out what time works for you and spend at least an hour a day doing it – you know, writing.  It may just mean outlining and ironing out the details of a story or actually flushing it out on paper and creating that work of art.

WHY?

The payoff is enormous!  Each time I set out to write a new story I notice better technique in formatting , visual imagery, character descriptions, movement and dialogue.  My stories become more layered, more gripping and overall better developed.  And isn’t that the point?

HOW?

Reading other screenplays and literary works helps not only with structure but with the creative process.  Watching the movies to those screenplays doesn’t hurt either when it comes to cinematography and how it flows.  Why not take a class or two?   It will definitely broaden your horizons and assist in getting a better perspective on story ideas.  Remember, outside feedback from friends, family or fellow writers is essential.

 

 

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