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Old 01-05-2018, 05:36 PM   #1
Gabe-KC
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Question Best way to practice screenwriting?

Okay, this sounds really dumb. The answer is obvious: write screenplays.

What I meant is this... I have an idea for a movie but it's not yet at the stage where I dare to begin writing it. However, I would really like to practice writing in the meantime.

What do you think is the best way to do that? I considered looking up random sentences and base short stories on them. Is that a good idea? Or should I be patient and wait for the ''big one'' to be ready?

Some advice from people who had similar problems would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:43 PM   #2
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You can copy what the 48 hour film festival does but use your own deadline. For example they will give you a genre, prop, and line of dialogue to use (or something like that). So all you have to do is ask one of your friends to do this for you, and write a short script around it.

Here I will be the first to give it a go for ya lol.

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"I could have been a legend."

Now write 5 pages.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:57 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply, I'll definitely do it!

P.S.: I would rather make sure, because I'm not a native English speaker. A prop is an element that is important to the story, right?
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:03 PM   #4
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Regarding a challenge I would say yes, otherwise, it can be unimportant. In fact most are, anything in the space is a prop.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:22 PM   #5
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The challenge method is definetly a good idea. The more you write, the better you'll get! A prop is anything handled by an actor or focused on in the scene. A stapler on a desk in the background is simply set dressing unless a character will use it. Then it becomes a prop.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:29 PM   #6
buscando
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What do you mean when you say it's not yet at the stage where you can begin writing it?
What are the things that are stopping you?

Last edited by buscando; 01-05-2018 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:40 AM   #7
Gabe-KC
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Originally Posted by buscando View Post
What do you mean when you say it's not yet at the stage where you can begin writing it?
What are the things that are stopping you?
I mean that I have not yet outlined it, it doesn't have a clear structure and I still have to do some research regarding the subject and the genre. It will still take me a couple of weeks before I'm confident with the story enough to start my first draft.

Until then, I wanted to practice writing somehow
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:03 AM   #8
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What if you started doing some research?
It might give you ideas that make you want to write a short scene.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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If you have an idea, but no structure, you should the ideas for scenes on post-its and then put them in the right order. It will provide oversight of what you have and it gives you the freedom to switch the order easily.
This way you can bring structure to the story.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:21 PM   #10
Gabe-KC
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Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
You can copy what the 48 hour film festival does but use your own deadline. For example they will give you a genre, prop, and line of dialogue to use (or something like that). So all you have to do is ask one of your friends to do this for you, and write a short script around it.

Here I will be the first to give it a go for ya lol.

Film Noir
Kite
"I could have been a legend."

Now write 5 pages.
Okay, so I've read some screenplays and watched some movies in the genre, since you chose the one I have probably the least knowledge about That's not a problem though, good challenge. However, I still have a question...

You said write 5 pages. Does that mean that I must write a full story in 5 pages, as in a short film that would be between 4-6 minutes long, or write a 5 page sequence/scene from a feature film?
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe-KC View Post
What I meant is this... I have an idea for a movie but it's not yet at the stage where I dare to begin writing it. However, I would really like to practice writing in the meantime.
That's why we have rough drafts. Your first rough draft isn't the one you have to shop to the world. Get critiques. Rewrite. Again, and again, and again. Give people The Elevator Pitch as often as possible. Find friends whom you can tell all of your stupid ideas and know that they'll give you your honest feedback without putting you down.

That's the process of screenwriting. Nobody has ever started a screenplay by waiting for it to be at a stage where they dare begin writing it. Just start writing it.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:57 PM   #12
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Another method of practice is taking a book and turning it into a screenplay.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe-KC View Post
Until then, I wanted to practice writing somehow
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Director View Post
The more you write, the better you'll get!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker Funk View Post
Rewrite. Again, and again, and again. Just start writing it.

Discipline is the key to any successful endeavor.

Write EVERY DAY. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad.

When I was a teen my dad was (unusually) home one day while I was practicing piano. I had muddled my way through a difficult piece for the first time when my father yelled out "That didn't sound very good." "Uh, dad, that's why it's called practice!"

The more you do something the more you improve. Write every day. As a mentor told me it's okay if it's crap; once you get the crap out of your system the good stuff is left. There are even kernels of great ideas in your trash.

John Varley, one of my favorite science fiction writers, writes fictional bios of random names out of the phone book when he lacks inspiration. Orson Scott Card, another successful writer, attends writing groups/classes/seminars almost every week to stay fresh. Piers Anthony would write fresh copy for one novel in the morning, edit a second in the afternoon and do research for a new book in the evenings. Discipline, discipline, discipline!!!

So just write, and write some more, then write more and more and more. That's how you get better.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:23 PM   #14
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How do you get better flow in each scene?
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #15
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You had it right in the beginning. Just write the screenplay.
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