5 Things Screenwriters Need To Do Before Typing A Single Word

If you’re like me, once you have an idea to write about, you can’t hardly wait to start hacking away at it. That anticipation before writing your script should be tempered because there are 5 things screenwriters need to do before typing a single word.

1. Choose Your Concept Wisely

You need to be diligent when developing a concept for your script. Too many screenwriters write their version of their favorite movies or they have a half baked gimmick. Writing your version of what’s come before isn’t going to attract people to your script. The half baked gimmicks aren’t enough to drive a compelling narrative for an entire story. The concept you choose has to be chosen for a reason. Maybe it’s a personal story that only you can write or maybe you’ve found a way to combine two genres into one. Whatever it is, it has to be well thought out.

2. Make Sure The Concept Is Fresh And New

Nothing sucks more than to spend hours, days, weeks and months laboring on that script only to find out that Hollywood has already tackled that same concept. It’s helpful to do thorough research and know what’s going on so that you can avoid making this mistake. Since we all ingest the same media content, we can sometimes end up having the same ideas inspired by said content. This leads to people writing the same things. It’s imperative to do some basic google searches on the subject matter before typing a single word.

3. Feed Your Creative Mind

Too many screenwriters jump the gun and go into the screenwriting phase. Patience. With a fresh concept, you have a seed that needs to be nourished so it can grow to something great. You need to look for inspiration and context. If you’re writing a movie about zombies, you need to study up on the subgenre. If you’re writing a war drama, you need to put yourself in that world and find some tone and atmosphere to work with visually. Watching movies is a great way to feed your creative mind because it helps get you in the mood of creating.

4. Research Your Story’s World

In this context, research is about getting into the zone and feeling that world you’re about to explore. Try going to a bookstore or library for hands on research. An even better idea would be to go directly to the locations and people that are relevant to the world and subject matter that you’re writing about Whatever that world or subject matter may be, dive into it before typing a single word.

5. Visualize Your Movie Every Day

Writing is about visualizing images and putting them together like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. When writing a script, you can’t write a cinematic story without seeing what you’re tasked with describing. So when you’re walking, running, eating, daydreaming, be visualizing your movie playing in your head. Use the imagery and inspiration you obtained by feeding your brain through watching movies and tv shows. Take a month to do this. Develop the big moments of your story in your head. See them. Feel them. Write them.

So before starting that script, using this list of 5 things screenwriters need to do before typing a single word can help make the writing process go smoothly.

Be sure to check out my other posts

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3 Things Your Screenplay Must Have To Get Picked Up

3 Things Every Screenwriter Needs

25 Screenwriting Tips Guaranteed To Help Your Screenplay

How To Pitch A Screenplay To Netflix


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