Astrid’s first question that she emailed me was a good one.
How do you write a screenplay?
“I took only one screenwriting class during my BA and, to this day, I’ve only managed to complete very short scripts,” she wrote. “Every time I sit down to write a screenplay I find that I want to write all sorts of stuff (thoughts and philosophical pondering) that will never be transformed into action.”
She’s right – It won’t.
“How do you deal with the economic language supposed to reign in scripts?” Astrid wanted to know.
If you write books, short stories, or anything other than screenplays, you’re going to have to change your writing style. Here’s what you need to remember – Always think of writing for film as utilizing only two elements:
1) Action (Show it, don’t tell us about it).
2) Dialogue (Skip the long speeches unless it’s an Oscar…
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(This is the first post of an ongoing series, Emails to a Young Screenwriter. If you haven’t read the introduction to the series, you’ll find it at So You Want To Be A Screenwriter?)
A script is a dream that’s been captured on paper – by a screenwriter.
We take that dream and give it structure, inhabit it with people, give it motion, and make it into a story. We shape that story into a script. And it’s our script that captures the imagination, the talents, and the hard work of a few hundred people working together to make that dream into something real – a film.
Astrid Cruz knows all about dreams – she’s a writer, a filmmaker, a student. Each one of those roles finds its raison d’être in chasing dreams. She’s not new to the craft of stringing words together and using those words to…
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