The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 09, 2012

First Draft Finished this morning!

I finished the first draft of the script today! Wish I could tell you more about the subject, title, research, and so forth, but that has to wait a while. Unfortunately, people really do steal movie ideas. Books, not so much.

Anyway, I wanted to detail the sequence of action.

1) Coming up with the original idea. Writing it down.

2) Creating a stack of 3x5 cards, each card detailing one scene. Carry the cards with you, working with them at odd moments. This went on for about four months.

3) The creation of a pitch. This should ideally be about three pages. Read this pitch to friends, and see if they respond to the core events.

4) Expand this pitch into a short treatment, about 10 pages. Flesh out motivations and characters. See if the idea still works. Get feedback and comments.

5) Use Final Draft and begin to create a 1st draft script (I love Final Draft because it has an "Index Card" view that allows me to see the entire story onscreen at one time). Avoid dialogue, but discuss the meaning of scenes, subtext, events and so forth.

6) Add dialogue.

NOW...if this is a script, polish. But if you're using this process to create a novel, just copy the entire script into a text editor, expand the descriptions out, and create depth in the "inner world" of the characters.

It's worked for my last ten novels, and I may well be using it for the rest of my life. Its...painless, and efficient as heck.


Steve Perry said...

Good. And good luck on the rewrite.

Steven Barnes said...

Thanks Steve!