Writing, and especially screenwriting, is ALL about making choices!

From the very first image you see on the screen or on the opening page of a novel, you are telling your audience what to expect in this journey they are about to embark upon.  I always say that writing is about choices and your choices for telling your story start with that very first image you describe.

 Every artist faces this decision-making process, whether it’s an oil painter, a photographer or you, the writer.  Visually speaking, you compose each scene – you choose the location: what does it say to the viewer or reader?  You choose the apparel of each actor (to some extent): what does that say? You choose the words they speak.  What is going on beneath the actual words that come out of the actors’ mouths?  Are they saying ‘I love you, I love you’ … while they batter each other with trash from a garbage can?  Because it can’t just be text – compelling stories have subtext too.

That doesn’t mean that you become a control freak as a writer.  Detailing every single little aspect of the characters’ actions and looks and settings leaves no room for collaboration.  You must leave many, many choices to the director and the actor and the set designer and the locations manager.  But, when it’s important to our understanding of the story or the emotional landscape of the heroine/hero, you add details in your script that add nuance and depth to the audience’s understanding of your character and her journey.

There is a power and a responsibility in every story choice you make as a writer.  With proper planning, you can learn to revel in the choosing.  Don’t be frozen in place, unable to act or stymied with indecision. Choose wisely; choose well to show us who your characters are.

That said, in Freefall I got a chance to rethink my image choices for many portions of the novel when we set out to shoot the video teasers.  It was a great opportunity to view the story from a totally different perspective when I moved the Freefall story from one type of story framework (a novel) to another type of framework (a video script to film).  The adaptation was a pivotal tool that I would definitely use again. The act of writing the Freefall teaser scripts helped me to fine-tune the imagery in the novel.

 I hope this helps.  Find more writing advice at Unlock the Writer Within