In this video, I’m going to give you three ways to streamline the development of your screenplay quickly, efficiently, and with great results. Let’s get into it.
So everyone is different in terms of their creative process, but I notice that the differences really are in the details. Generally, processes are similar. They start with macro views, the general ID in the concept, and they become more micro as the process unfolds the plotting of a structure, the plotting of scenes, action, a log moment, moment, etcetera, etcetera. So regardless of who you are, you naturally will start with a very macro idea. So I’m going to outline the three steps that if you follow them, will absolutely expedite the development of the screenplay.
What we’ve built in my development agency, my production company is a development apparatus that was created to develop scripts better and faster. So Let’s get into these three steps with the tools that are going to help you start developing today and getting great results fast. And it all starts with the logline. Now, if you haven’t watched my video on running a great logline, I’ll give you a little recap here and you can watch the entire video at your leisure.
How to create a good logline?
A good logline should encapsulate a few elements of your entire narrative. Most importantly, you need to know what your hero wants and why they want it. It’s what I call the goal in the motive.
But while a hero’s goal is important for a very strong spine of the story, it’s very important to know why your character pursues that goal. It’s important because the motive defines your character’s existence in the narrative and knowing that motive will actually lead to a very impactful inciting, instant, or catalyst or what I call the motivation to disturb. You can actually watch my video on Structuring and get a better understanding of this moment. Now, excuse me, I will say your character development fundamentals, what your characters want, and why they wanted is central to your Catholic moment.
Okay, one great tool that you can use to get your logline to a very good point is to get some creative input.
After you use the logline generator, get the answers that you’re looking for that you need. Get to the logline generator here and submit a logline analysis. Receive metrics and suggestions.
Naturally, a logline is a very powerful development tool when done right, and Conversely, very can cause a major setback down the road if done wrong or not given enough thought. Okay, so to recap, you have a concept in your mind, find out who fundamentally the hero is. What do they want? Why do they want it? What is that motivation disturbed at that catalyst moment?
Then use the free logline generator, which is going to force you to know your character fundamentals, which is why I love it so that you can expand organically into a viable, full-fledged outline, which is the second step of developing your screenplay number two outline.
Now, I do not think it’s smart to outline without the fundamental understanding of your character goals and motives. Knowing the plot points are not good enough, relying just on plot understanding will limit you to inhibited or rigid structure. I promise you that.
Okay. It’s best to not only know your hero but also all your central character fundamentals when you get into this outlining process. So once you know what they want, what they want, it, then you go into the outline with a real Compass to complement the logline generator. I also created a free outline generator, but it’s something that you shouldn’t really mess with until you have that long line ready, and Select that mature in your mind first.
Now the outline generator forces you to know your characters pretty well. Again, that line generator is free, and when you sign up to use it, I’m also going to provide you with a tutorial on how to use it, so that’s pretty cool. It’s a super powerful tool that’s going to save you a lot of time. Gonna get those beats down for you. It’s software that actually I created for myself to help speed up development.
So whether you decide to use it or not, maybe you don’t need it. What we also have is an outline evaluation that supplies metrics across multiple categories and subcategories of your outline, along with a stratum to understand your scores and development suggestions for fleshing out that outline. The degree of thoroughness of an outline always varies for the writer. I tend to not be Super detailed beyond the major plot points. Maybe I’ll plot out 20 to 25 plot points and then surprise myself in the first draft. I’ve done less.
I’ve done more. It really depends on the project, but I value understanding character motives and goals much more than outlines. If the character elements are in place. Everything else flows much better, so I never jumped the gun in that lining process.
However, I’m going to say, I think you should definitely do what feels comfortable for whatever your skill level is. This process of outlining can change many times over your professional career, and it changes for me on a script basis. The goal is to be as comfortable as possible going into your draft. So if you take anything away from this, please remember that knowing your character fundamentals or the character fundamentals of development or character development fundamentals is the most important you should keep in mind.
The First Draft
It’s super valuable. And finally, number three, the first draft. My general rule that I think is valuable for all writers is to prepare as outlined above in the logline, and outline sections, then just put the entire drop-down ASAP.
Jim Strain, a great teacher of mine, creates one of my favorite movies, Jumanji, called The Mud Pies. Now I know the amount of time it takes to output a first drop varies. I can see with experience being once a beginner trying to learn to screenwriting, that first draft processes take a lot longer for writers who don’t have their character fundamentals down. I can say with complete certainty that you can write your first draft in 96 hours if you have character fundamentals down. Otherwise, it can take a whole month, a couple of months.
First drafts are never great. Want to just point that out? I think it’s important to know the fundamentals, then vomit out the first draft as soon as possible and just be ready for feedback. You know, I think that’s the whole point. You want to get that outline done and get into the feedback process.
These are, you know what? There are no rules here, and I want to be very clear. Be inspired and do your best. But be prepared. And what I urge you, all writers to do is just be prepared.
Okay. Taking that necessary step in the long line and outline phase is the best thing. So you don’t create a first draft that needs to have a ground-up, rebuilding it’s too much work. It’s better to go slow and steady. I don’t put timelines on the preparation at all.
Maybe on the first draft. Yeah, but sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slow. Creativity needs to mature. It’s like a well, a water well. You shouldn’t start drawing from it and putting it on the page until the well is full because you do it prematurely and the end of halfway through the process, scraping at the bottom, coming up with dirt.
Finally, you need to follow your instincts because I believe that’s the only way that you’re truly going to learn. I personally never listen to anyone, and it worked out really great for me because I came full circle back to the fundamentals. Of course, I heard people telling it to me, but I had to learn my way. I just offer you the tools.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this is the way things need to get done. They are a way that works to get it done. So take them anecdotally and follow your gut and instinct.
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