Monday, May 04, 2015

The Ten Scene Test

There are times when I'm not sure if I can really get into writing a script. Sure, I can do the outline and other starting business, but I'm still not always 100% sure if I can finish a script when I start it. In that case I sit down and debate ten scenes tat I like before I really get into thing.

Those ten scenes need to sell me on the script. As such they need to show me why I'm writing the script; after all, I'm starting n a journey with a number of characters that are most likely annoy by the time I'm done with them. They're going to mess with my script, take control and write their own dialogue and actions, and basically drive me nuts by the time I'm through. If that's the stick I want some carrot.

Those ten scenes can be about anything, but they need to be interesting. I want to see if the idea has any legs, and those scenes give me a lot of insight into that question. If the script can sell itself to me, if it can show me that there is a reason to write it, and that I can have some fun with it, then I can start writing it. But I need those ten scenes first.

Even if I end up using not a single one of those scenes, each one is a seed that can, with just a little fertilization, grow and spread, becoming part of the supporting structure of the script. It gives me insight into the script, giving me direction to the action and dialog as well as a key into how the characters think. That insight is invaluable to writing the script.

Although they can be the big scenes of the script, such as the final climax or the inciting incident, the real fun ones are those scenes that exemplify how the characters interact with their world and each other.

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