February 21, 2014

Write a screenplay!

Big Fat Paycheck: A Young Person's Guide to Writing for the Movies
by Colton Lawrence

Despite what the title implies, it's not that easy to write a good screenplay and it's even harder to sell one. Apparently, though, a young screenwriter, especially one under 18 years of age, is what the Big Fancy Hollywood Readers are looking for. The secret, Colton Lawrence says, is to create the illusion that you're a hot new writer and that your screenplay is the next big thing. To accomplish this, he shows young readers how to write a top-notch script.

This isn't as easy as he makes it seem. First you need to write a treatment - writing down ideas, turning them into concepts, writing story sketches, creating character sketches, writing story outlines, and developing action scenes. Then you write your script, but you also need to polish it, which involves lots and lots of rewrites (at least five to ten drafts, but probably more). By this time, only the most dedicated writers will still be at it.

However, Lawrence does offer lots of guidance that can help you become a better writer. He shows you how to create strong characters and believable dialogue, how subplots are structured, and how to fix plot holes. He also provides useful tips to help you sell your story. You may not make a million dollars, but you may end up with a really good novel.

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