My writing system was designed to help writers stop thinking of their scripts as the final product and consider it as nothing more than the blueprint for the movie they’re making. This is, perhaps, why so many of my students have found success when it comes time for them to make the jump from page to screen.
Last night I taught my NYU students in a classroom of a high school. I loved the room because on one of the walls there were rough sketches done by the high school students of the characters in the books they were reading. It’s so rare to see students at that level consider how words have the power to create pictures in one’s head and it reminded me of the Creating Your Characters – Exercises in my own book How To Write a Screenplay in 10 Weeks.
As an exercise: Draw your character’s family. Make sure you put your character in the drawing. Select a symbolic object for each member, such as a hat or a baseball bat for a little boy or a bone for the dog. This is not about drawing ability; it is to help you visualize better. Repeat for your other characters.