Ever feel in need of some direction?
Bang2writers often tell me they feel they need a road map to help them with their projects. One common issue many writers have is the fact we can write ANYTHING … and that lack of clear perimeters can feel very daunting indeed.
Add to that other challenges like neurodivergence, family commitments, or day jobs … well it’s obvious that focusing on our writing can feel like an impossible task.
Introducing: The Screenwriter’s Road Map Free Resource
The Screenwriter’s Road Map is a new FREE resource for you to download. After chatting with Bangers and writer friends, I was able to identify 8 main steps that will help you with your project …
i) Road Test Your Idea
Lots of writers begin with a half-baked idea. This is where you put it under the microscope and ensure it stands up to scrutiny. Don’t let enthusiasm for a new project send you spiralling into redrafting insanity!
ii) Create a ‘baseline’
This is an initial logline, of sorts. It serves as a powerful ‘note to self’ and as a foundation for your project. It will also help you as you draft because you can ask yourself … ‘Has my project gone off at a tangent? Or has it EVOLVED?’
iii) Peer review
It’s a great idea to get your peers’ feedback on baselines. It helps you with your pitching and may throw up any issues, such as having TWO stories in one (very common problem). Facebook groups can be great to find peer reviewers.
iv) Identify Character Role Functions
This is a fancy way of describing WHO is doing WHAT in your story. A role function may be protagonist, antagonist, secondary (aka supporting) or peripheral. You can break them down further into archetypes or tropes if you want to.
v) Identify Character Motivations
If a character’s role function is Who/What, then motivation is the WHY … Why do they have a specific want or need in the story? This is important not only for main roles, but secondaries too.
vi) Where do they start?
This is a plotting question … the SET UP. Knowing where your character BEGINS their journey is so important. It’s how we invest in them and what comes next.
vii) Where do they end up?
And here we are at the PAY OFF. It’s very fashionable to say ‘it’s all about character’ but that’s BS. We don’t watch movies or TV shows ‘about characters’ … we watch movies or TV shows ‘about characters who DO SOMETHING for SOME REASON.’
Forget that at your peril in screenwriting because lack of structure (aka plotting) literally kills your characters.
viii) Get Feedback
Always, always get feedback when you can. It’s easiest and quickest to get feedback on outlines than drafts … this is why I recommend sending outlines to beta readers, peer reviewers or paid-for readers. It also ensures you don’t end up in what I call ‘The Story Swamp’, but it’s up to you.
Anyway, you can download your free road map HERE or by clicking on any of the pics in this article.
Of course, you may not be writing a screenplay. I use all these steps to get my novels written too. Use it for whatever you like and please pass it on to your writer friends and followers.