The biggest impediment in the way of writers while turning their ideas into good scripts has nothing to do with their creativity. It is to fight the procrastination and lack of commitment to the story. Turning your precious ideas into good screenplays requires utmost determination and will. You need to identify the major reasons for procrastination and deal with them one at a time. Adopting a process that organizes their workflow while maintaining the required flexibility does the job.
Dividing the whole process into three stages has helped writers over the years to turn their ideas into concepts, concepts into scripts, and scripts into films. These three steps are:
1) Act on the Spark
It is said that ideas are resilient. But, are they? The relationship you have with your ideas will deplete slowly with time if you don’t work on them. Nothing is better than a fresh, new idea, filled with energy and opportunity. Every fresh idea comes with a spark powerful enough to channel your creativity around the idea and getting it onto the pages to premiere for the masses.
Another thing to remember while working with the spark is that it doesn’t need to be a rigid, full-fledged plan of attack. Restricting your idea with constraints of workflow and structure, unless those constraints help you develop it, is not a good idea. The main goal in this phase should be to gain a slow and steady momentum and bringing your idea into sharper focus.
At first, when the idea starts taking its form, you just need to discover it with flexibility and shape it in a form that feels right. It should be everything from journaling sessions to running lists of interesting and important features about your idea, or even the beginnings of specific scenes that come to mind.
2) Get Started with Pre-writing Process
Once you get a firm grip over your idea, it is time to get started with the pre-writing process. A significant part of procrastination associated with turning ideas into good screenplays can be attributed to this step. This phase is the bridge between the brainstorming and more formal planning stages.
In this stage, you must decide the medium suitable for your idea. It is equally possible that your idea might be a better fit for a novel, play, video game, etc. Different mediums have different ways and conventions of going on about them. If your choice of medium is a film, it is time for you to give your idea a rigid structure.
Giving a rigid structure to your story will include planning its key components and characters that are most important for the weight of the story. This planning requires Prewriting tools like outlines, story synopses, etc. Creating a detailed outline helps you keep track of all the moving parts of the story. It answers important structural questions.
A detailed outline should answer questions like- What happens in your screenplay? In what order do those events happen? What gets established in Act One? What obstacles are overcome throughout Act Two, driving us to the climax and onward into Act Three’s conclusion?
Apart from the outline, your prewriting tool-stack must also contain a synopsis. It helps you structure your story in a way that its essence isn’t lost in the process. Its utility is not just limited to the prewriting phase but helps throughout the writing process. It reminds you what your story is about.
As simple as the third step sounds, it can be just as daunting if you leave anything unstructured or undefined in the prewriting process. The formal planning stage, if done right, pays off in the third step- writing the screenplay. Unlike the first stage, this stage has no room for procrastination, even if it is disguised. This phase requires you to shut off the perfectionist inside as soon as it gets pessimistic and tells you to stop writing.
Even if you’re not up for writing the screenplay for your idea, you must keep your brain running by doing other writing work. It will have a positive effect on your screenplay and keeps your creative muscles in shape. It is important for you to understand that the more you write, the more you will throw away. This means that the end-product will be more refined and connect with your audiences better.
To sum up, having a good idea is not a big deal. Turning it into a screenplay that gives the audience the storytelling experience is. To do that, writers need to be committed and determined by their ideas, concepts, and stories. Writing screenplays through a process that organizes their workflows into separate phases while maintaining the room for flexibility helps them in discovering their ideas better and turning them into good screenplays.