Every Most writers dread the first page of a new story even if it is pounding their head to get out, or in my case of my best screenplay SAVE THE CAT has exported all of my scene cards into final draft.
For me, it’s that first step of a journey, as much as I love adventure, I hate change. I’d much rather do re-writes on beat to death manuscripts than write: FADE IN. So, OMG I am on deadline I have to get out 10-12 pages of my best every week between now and May 1st.
Before I fade-in let’s review a checklist of pre-production steps for the best screenplay:
1) Great premise conveyed in a succinct logline AND synopsis (I’m going to do a segment on synopsis when I need a breather from my pages)
2) RESEARCH and CREATIVE INSPIRATION – read, watch and absorb everything around you until you have an endless supply of tidbits to enrich your story.
3) Beat it out
4) Scene Card it out
5) Write something else. You read me.
What I did this weekend, before embarking on this journey, was I conceived and wrote 5 (pretty funny) pages for the Massify/Lionsgate incubator (these pages also were accompanied by a logline and synopsis).
For me, doing this gets my synapses firing and my fingers on autopilot for Final Draft. Not to mention, if I can conceive of and write 5 good pages in a day and a half, my deadline complete with exported scene cards should be a snap. For you, there are countless ways you can do the same thing if laundry seems like a better option than typing your FADE IN or PAGE 1. Online contests and pitch fests are everywhere and as long as they are free they’re a great way to get in the groove that will consume your every cell (hopefully not of the padded rubber variety) for months to come.
I’ll give an honorable mention shout out to another I was going to do: Jessica Bendinger’s 7 RAYS scene adaptation. Also being a YA writer, this one really appeals to me and frankly she writes with such vivid description and clear 1-2-3 scene structure, every chapter of this book is a clear cut scene for film in my mind. However, her deal runs until May 23rd and she will be visiting Austin soon for a REEL WOMEN get together where I hope to get an even better sense of her work and mantra (though I did finally settle on a chapter to adapt)
Right now, I’m ready to FADE IN.