Yeah, I know: you’ve had that GREAT idea, you just want to DIVE IN to your screenplay. I’ve been there myself.
But should you?
– Should you be writing a treatment – not a long one, wouldn’t even need to be ten pages… Why not four… Or three?
– Could even a one page pitch expose your idea’s FLAWS?
– Could just starting with a LOGLINE?
There’s a reason many screenplays don’t get off the starting blocks… And sometimes it’s not because of your WRITING, it’s because of the way YOU sell your script “off the page”.
It’s no good trying to cast a wide net to try and hit *all* the goal posts by saying “this is steampunk-action-adventure-romantic-horror-musical-comic-postmodern thriller”!
It’s no good saying, “It’s about a guy … And then… And then… And then… And then… And then…”!
It’s no good not knowing the answer when someone says, “Why this story?”
NAIL your logline.
NAIL your genre.
NAIL your premise.
NAIL your story.
NAIL your character’s motivation.
In other words – know exactly WHAT your story is and WHY you’re writing it.
Because if you don’t know what it is… The reader definitely won’t.
Great post, Lucy. I would add one more question at the end there:
And know WHO you are writing for.