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do you want to hear a story?

Flesh and muscle are appearing on the bones of my new screenplay.

I’ve pitched the story to my mother (always enthusiastic) and a couple of friends (very forbearing) and the response has been positive so far.

The best thing about having to verbalise your story is that ideas flower unexpectedly. In both sessions new scenes and plot points emerged from my telling of the story and answering questions asked by my audience. I’ve discussed this issue before because screenwriter Paul Schrader is a big proponent of the benefits of verbal storytelling.

The process I’m going through to create this script is different from the approach I’ve taken before, and so far it’s working for me. I expect I’ll have an outline by the end of next week, or sooner.

I’ve booked my flights to LA for the Screenwriting Expo. I’ll be in the city for two weeks (it’s such a long journey there’s no point going for a shorter stint). My aim is to learn as much as I can, make contacts, and have fun. If nothing else, I can chalk it up to experience.

I have a lot of work ahead of me in the months before that trip.

2 Comments

  • Scott the Reader

    I’ve found that telling my stories helps me get them right in my head too — it certainly helps you focus on the key threads running through it, and sometimes reminds you not to lose focus on certain things.Having said that, it’s still something I need to do more of.

  • Maura

    Yes, it is helpful. You note where people ask you questions, where they are totally engaged, and most importantly when their eyes mist over in boredom/confusion! These are all valuable clues that can point to story strengths and weaknesses. It’s especially good for figuring out if you have the pacing of the story right. The areas that lag are highlighted almost as soon as the words come out of your mouth. But yeah, I need to do more of this too. It’s a matter of finding willing victims!

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