This week I met with two students who were eager to write screenplays but didn’t know where to start. How could I help?
Training the writer to find his or her story by using my writing method, the Horowitz System®, is how I help such writers jumpstart their screenplays. I help them flesh out characters to make them memorable and believable. I developed the system to facilitate writers creating better work, faster. My book, How to Write a Screenplay in 10 Weeks, provides a visual path you can follow, as it prompts the reader to perform writing exercises it presents.
Three questions drive the way I teach: How can you get a vague idea to quickly become the basis for a film? How can you have a clear sense of whether your story has artistic and commercial potential? How can you create a readable draft efficiently and have fun?
In the first step, write down as much of the story as you know. When I work one on one with students, this is how we begin. What we don’t know about our stories is as useful as what we do know. Nature abhors a vacuum, but it has to see a hole in order to fill it. Find the “holes” to find the “whole” story.
Here’s another technique: Tell your entire story to someone you trust. Telling it verbally will show its weaknesses more quickly than writing it down.
I live by my writing system’s motto “Don’t Get It Right, Get It Written.”
Only then can you get it right! All good writing is the result of rewriting, so you have to have something to rewrite.
When people sign up for the newsletter on my website, they receive a free article about how to write a treatment, an important marketing document that is typically two or three pages and summarizes the story as if it were a short story told in the present tense. Take a look at that article, and also try the techniques I’ve spotlighted in this blog. See what comes.
Here’s to your successful writing.