Last year I made my first attempt to realise a dream I’ve had for a long time. I started to write a screenplay, my very first draft. I had no idea what I was doing, but I figured I’d watched quite a lot of films. I mean, how difficult could it be to write one myself? Let’s just say, I soon found out it’s actually pretty tricky.
A good friend of mine had sent me a gift, a book called “The Screenwriter’s Bible”. I was pleased as Punch, but the older I get the harder I find it to learn new things from reading books. It’s like my brain falls asleep every second sentence, even if I find the book interesting.
It’s much easier for me to learn if somebody tells me about the content of the book, preferably in an interesting way. I suppose that is why storytelling always has appealed to me. A visual medium, like TV or film, also makes it easier for me to learn and remember.
Anyway, I thought it was a good idea to attend a creative writing class. It would keep me on my toes, I thought, to have deadlines and people reading and giving me feedback. However, the class, my teacher and classmates knew quite a lot about writing, but not a first thing about writing screenplays.
I see now that they could follow the story (at least the teacher who knew it all), but nobody knew how to create the structure of a screenplay. How could I learn? I didn’t of course. It was all very frustrating.
Follow The Inspiration
The other day an idea popped into in my head. What if… I think I might have found a way to tie the story together, make it understandable and easier to tell visually. But I’m not supposed to focus on the script right now! I have to finish my book, haven’t I? Find a real job.
O-oh, duty calls. Inspiration calls! This time though, I will only consult expert David Trottier and my screenwriter’s bible.