I’m so excited that my NYU student, Marybeth Diss completed her screenplay! It’s a funny, original romantic comedy, which is the most difficult kind of story. Her first draft was amazing: well-structured, well written and has great, memorable characters. She confided that it was the first thing she’s ever completed!
Building a Body of Work
Create a body of work because you never know what producers are looking for. Here’s how I do it:
Since I’m usually working on a dozen or more projects and must be full of ideas for each one, I keep a little notebook, and when I get an inspiration, I write it down. Later I try to expand the idea into a three-act version of itself to see if it has legs. Then, if it does, I can determine whether the idea’s best used for a script, an episode of a series, a limited or traditional TV series, etc.
This is not a random process: I have several sections in that book, which include bits of overheard dialog or scenes, characters and story ideas. I often have no idea where I’ll use something but always get a physical thrill that clues me that there’s something important here. I also take photos that will remind me of that idea later.
Here are a few recent entries:
1/19/19 Character- an elegant, slender 80-year old self-described “preacher” who believes that faith with humor is the secret to a good life. “I had stage 4 cancer, but when I discovered my faith, I was able to crucify it.” She laughed. She wears sunglasses – what are her eyes like?
1/12/19 Over heard dialog: “You’re just trying to not feel guilty about seeing me now by selling me future inclusion.”
1/17/19 Story idea: this newspaper article could be a perfect story set up: It’s about why a 106-year old woman feels she lived so long: by avoiding men. This woman, has never dated, and the article states that she reunited recently with a 97-year-old friend. I thought what could happen? What if the friend were a man who she then falls in love with and must decide whether to risk death or die never having experienced romantic love. I like this idea and will work on. It feels like it has “legs.”
Please start to build a body of work and share how you’re doing it.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz