Today, I decided something.
I decided to write. While I say ‘write’, I mean any forms of writing. Whether it be drama or monologue, or essay, or poem – be it anything. I just want to write – but on a regular basis. And, if everything goes alright, then ‘DAILY’. While my comfort zone has always been to write an informative post or the step-by-step guide, now, I want to focus more on stories.
It’s been a year or so since I’ve started writing about the stories and screenwriting books. Despite that, I’ve not been able to write film scripts in a natural manner. Maybe, most of the people would call it ‘the writer’s block’. But at this stage of my life, writing has been more of a ‘need’ rather than just a want. With that said, I am never short of confidence though. Given the right amount of inspiration and necessity, I am sure I’ll write better stories as the days pass.
so what’s the plan?
The plan is simple – to write. The first thing I need to do is to start making a habit of opening the software named the Final Draft so that it reminds me of the fact that I’ve decided to write. Here, I write about stories in the form of the scripts. Now, the script is the story – it’s just that the form and syntax have been modified to maintain consistency for every script that’ll ever be written. Now, the screenplay (or script) is just about the dialogue and description. SCREENPLAY is basically a story told with pictures, in dialogue and description written in the context of the dramatic structure. Let’s break it down:
PICTURES: This basically implies that the screenplay is the story written for the screen (the visual story)
DIALOGUE: Dialogue is basically what a character speaks, now no story is void of the character. A story is a story about a character – mostly, it’s about one character (sometimes it can be about more than one character). And the character should not necessarily be a person, it can be an object or animal or anything that has characteristics. With that in mind, we’re human and of course, we’re going to write about the human in most of the cases.
DESCRIPTION: This is what the story looked like when we heard it in our childhood. The best part is that we heard stories in the form of the shot. You’re right – we did not hear about ‘SHOT’ in the first place. It’s a technical filmmaking term. But, if you dive deeper, then you’ll understand that we tell stories in the form of shots. Once upon a time, there lived an old man in a cottage.
– SHOT of the old man in a cottage.
He used to live near the farm.
– SHOT of the farm.
… and so on.
DRAMATIC STRUCTURE: At this point, let’s understand that we tell stories in the form of drama. Without drama, a story is boring. An old man lived in a cottage, near the farm. We can imagine this story but there’s no drama here. Drama is basically CONFLICT (in this context). Conflict is basically a situation where the character needs to decide something because events have unfolded in such a manner that it forces the character to DO something.
Let’s get back to the previous example of the old man. The old man lives in a cottage, near a farm. There’s nothing unusual about that. Now, one day all of sudden, a tiger attacks the farm, while the old man was working. The old man hides inside his house to run away from the tiger. Oh! this is interesting – this is interesting because there’s a conflict and the character needs to decide something or DO something. This is what moves the story forward. The conflict can be external like the tiger attacking (which is physical and can happen to anyone who lives there), but the conflict can be internal as well.
INTERNAL CONFLICT: Internal conflict sometimes comes from the ‘need’ of the character, or it comes from indecision or decision of the character. Let’s say, the old man lives alone and his need in life is to have a partner, however, he is old enough to find a partner. Now, this is the conflict specific to the character.
In this way, we can define the story as well. The story is basically a character having a NEED while facing CONFLICT to go towards the RESOLUTION.