This month’s questions cover one end of the screenwriting spectrum to the other – getting stuck more than halfway through on a screenplay – and once the draft is completed, how to find the best feedback.
Screenplay Doctor: Arguably there are some people who do not believe in the term “writer’s block.” (Maybe the word “block” is unproductive and getting you stuck…) But let’s not get stuck in terminology. Let’s get you back to writing.
In my experience teaching and consulting, not to mention with my own writing, sometimes the reason one is struggling comes down to the fact that something is not working in the script. It could be an issue with the plot or characters, or the way you’re approaching your storytelling process.
Top Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block and Getting to the End of the Finish Line:
- Put your script aside for a period of time and give yourself some breathing room.
- Set attainable goals and realistic deadlines. For example: Maybe writing five pages daily is unrealistic with your work schedule.
- Write character biographies in your characters’ voices. (My book Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! offers templates and examples from films to guide writers.)
- Synopsize the script in prose, in a short story form. This helps to give you distance from individual scenes and characters, and helps to hone in your plot, find plot holes, and to follow your main characters’ journeys with more objectivity.