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Don't miss out on a single issue of IN and how to get your screenplay from the page to the silver screen.
Even though in my last article I suggested how to write Page 1 of your screenplay and said we'd tackle the first 12 pages of writing your screenplay next, I need to backtrack. Writing the ending to your screenplay foremost is a good way to have something to shoot for while writing your screenplay.
Writing your ending first is like having a guiding light. It helps you focus on characterization and the direction of the story. Say, for example, you have this great story idea for a war movie. The question is, once you get to the first page of your screenplay, after you've followed the steps I've outlined to get to Page 1, where do you go from there?
Depending upon the individual writer, there are a host of directions you can take. Some writers like to free associate, or write spontaneously to avoid being confined. Others need rigid discipline to keep their focus, so they utilize outlines to direct them. Still others grope in the dark so to speak until they find the direction they want their screenplay to take. Which one of these writers is you? Which one of them can you relate to? Or, are you blind to what direction you should go, and in turn, this causes you great angst?
By writing the ending to your screenplay first, you can be any one of the above kind of writers and still write the way you want to write. The power of knowing where your characters and story are headed by having written your ending first will help you write your screenplay more tightly. Your characters will be less tempted to wander off in another direction. Your story will be more like a winding river than one that breaks off into tributaries.
Writing screenplays require lean, to-the-point writing. You do not have room to allow your characters and story to drift. You must write on point or the focus of your screenplay will be marred, and that will be enough to get a pass instead of an expressed interest.
Next time, I'll focus, you notice I wrote the word, focus, on the first twelve pages of writing your screenplay.
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