The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Working backwards from the end

Tomorrow, Tananarive and I will pitch a movie based on a comic book (no, I won't say which one).  The point is that we've had to deconstruct the entire thing, trying to get a sense of what the real gold in the story, and what is the fluff.  There are some excellent basic concepts, but my sense was that the writer didn't know the subject matter as well as he any rate, we've created some good scenes, a decent through-line, and are now working to knit it all together. The approach  I want to use today is to gain REAL clarity on what the very last scene should be.  What are the stakes?  The conflicts?  What do I want to reveal about the heros and villains?  Once I know those things, I can go backwards and be certain that the rest of the story supports those intentions.
That's exactly the same thing we need to do with our goal-setting: deciding exactly what we want, and then being certain that our actions and attitudes support it.  When you do this, you can answer the question: Do my actions this week support where I want to be at the end of next year?  If so, great!  If not, there are changes to be made.

At any rate, my goals for the  end of next year definitely include another movie deal, so I have to get back to work now...

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