By Tom Benedek
The story is residing somewhere in your heart and soul. You may have notes. You may have visions in your head. You may even have a draft written already. It is exciting to have a story you want to or need to tell. Telling it right means giving it some strong characters, plot, nuances of emotion.
Most of us have to struggle through thickets to find ways to tell the story effectively. There is no science to this. There is not a system that works automatically. But there are guidelines, prompts,questions you can ask yourself every time you are breaking a new story. So it is good to have a checklist in place a set of writing tools to use every time you are breaking a story.
They don’t call it immaculate story conception for good reason. There may be one or two automatic stories in each of us — the ones that just pour out and really work – just like that. It does happen. But most of the time, figuring out the structure is the result of blood, sweat, tears, time, patience, deep breaths, agony. Yes – agony.
Writing is fun and exciting. It is also arduous. Still – breaking story is a good time. And painful. The end result, if we get it right, is a solid structure – a short document we can use to write a script that will stand upright on its own terms.
My Writers Store webinar on Breaking Story may be helpful – providing you with some points of reference to get the story and structure in shape before you start writing your next script.
Tom Benedek wrote the screenplay for Cocoon, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and other films. In addition to teaching the craft of screenwriting, Tom has interviewed dozens of agents, managers, production execs, working screenwriters for his Network Hollywood class at ScreenWritingMasterClass.com. He has written screenplays for Robert Zemeckis, Lawerence Kasdan, Lili Fini Zanuck and Richard Zanuck, David Brown, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Richard Rush, Harold Ramis, Lauren Schuler Donner and Richard Donner, Ray Stark, and many more.
Screenwriting Webinar from The Writers Store
At a Glance:
- Teaches you how to create a detailed story outline and identify any weak story elements before typing fade in
- Ensures the story outline or beat sheet, has all the supporting walls it needs to carry your story
- Provides the know-how you need to write a solid first draft, including plot, conflict, and character development