Very happy to share the latest episode of Your Friday Funnys.
This week I worked with my N.Y.U class to take all of their excellent character work and use it to create a plot, so that they could generate pages for next week.
This is where The 4 Magic Questions of Screenwriting helps to bridge the gap between character and plot. By applying the 4 Magic Questions first to the character arc, and then creating scenes and sequences using the Mythic Journey Map in How to Write A Screenplay in Ten Weeks , it’s simple, if not easy. There are extensive examples in the book.
Here’s the exercise:
1. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and reset as needed.
2. Answer the 4MQS for your main character, opponent and buddy, love interest or sidekick.
3. Turn to the Mythic Journey Map. Each of the 12 sequences relates to the 4MQS. For example, the first Magic Question asks, “What is my main character’s dream? The three sequences that correspond to this question on The Mythic Journey Map are:
Step 1. What is the world of the story?
Step 2. What happens to get the story started?
Step 3. How does the main character deny the need for change?
4. The next step is to use your premise, re-framed as a question. For example, “Does good conquer evil?” and begin to create 3-5 scenes that answer the questions.
5. By understanding your characters, you’ll easily imagine scenes that challenge your main character, and how the opponent blocks them.
6. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and brainstorm images and bits of dialogue. Don’t worry where everything will be. The important thing is to generate ideas.
7. Put these away for a while, then reread and start plotting!
o recap: By using character needs to create a plot, you can write a well-structured and compelling screenplay because you are allowing the character to drive the story as opposed to moving them like chess pieces to fit into a rigid plot.
I am so so excited about edition #10 this week. Laugh, subscribe, and share!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz