11/07/2017 8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart and Maintain Your Creativity

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July 30, 2013

8 Somewhat Unusual
V Renée
(/u/vrenee)
Screenwriting Tips That
May Help Kickstart and
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Maintain Your Creativity
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As screenwriters, it's always so frustrating when our wellsprings of ideas and
creativity dry up, leaving us with nothing more than an unfinished scene, an

unrealistic character, or even worse, a blank page. There are a lot of great
ideas (http://nofilmschool.com/2012/07/17-writing-tricks-to-help-get-you-
through-your-screeplay/) floating around out there in books, videos, and

websites -- I know I've added listening to music, watching films, and reading
my screenplays aloud to my arsenal. But, I've compiled my own list of
methods, some pretty unconventional, that are more or less surefire ways to
kickstart my creativity and avoid those dreaded screenwriting dry spells. 

Freewrite
When you haven't the words to write, don't write words. Open up your writing

program of choice and just start writing anything and everything that comes to
mind without stopping, correcting, or deleting/erasing. It sounds dumb,

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/07/8-unusual-screenwriting-tips 1/11

) but eventually you will start writing some amazing things. but it's the thing that helped me the most as a screenwriter. Have a conversation with your character. Since we've all probably kept journals at one time or another and know how to use them. It's like a fountain of thought is just pouring out of my head -. the first 10 or so pages are complete crap. They're full of very carefully organized notes. and musings that seemed to be written for someone else other than myself.his hair in the Jeremy video was just excellent. Pretend that you're meeting them there for lunch like you would a friend of yours. Go to a restaurant. I'll just say this: just make it your own. Hands are such unsung heroes -. Order food. Where's the love for the hands? They work so hard to get my thoughts on the page. because my hands are doing a lot of the work. and even dedicated an entire page to explaining how pretty I think Marion Cotillard is. I just love writing stuff. I had that hair when I was 17 and I really truly thought I was cool.well actually that's not completely accurate. Take your characters to lunch Yes -. and I'm sure you do too.literally. After I had this realization I filled the pages with drawings. Pull out your journal. Seriously -. quotes from books. No! Be yourself while inside your journal.whatever happened to Eddie Vedder -.com/2013/07/8-unusual-screenwriting-tips 2/11 . or are those people talking way too loud?" Your characters' responses may surprise you and open up new doors to their http://nofilmschool. meandering thoughts about story structure. "What are you going to have?" and "Is it just me. Ask them questions like.I really did. Brains are jerks. Get a journal and make it your own This isn't a new (or unusual) idea. and my brain gets all the credit.11/07/2017 8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart and Maintain Your Creativity because the first page or two is going to be pretty much useless (I've written a half of page of "j's" before. bullet points. Need an example? Here you go: I'm just free writing to show you guys what it's all about. When I first started keeping my journal for my latest script.

I cannot count how many times I've stumbled upon a great piece of dialog by doing this. no.and it's simple. That's how I came up with a villainous frenchman once. Do bizarre things that make you embarrassed of yourself This is probably one of my favorite things to do to help my creativity -.11/07/2017 8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart and Maintain Your Creativity personalities. No. and allows me to approach my writing without the added pressure of writing "a great screenplay. or shred of coolness I might've onee had. I mean full-on talking to yourself." Plus. is cut any ties I have to my ego. If you're new to this. Don't write it out. The title says it all. it's fun. at least for me.do accents. This might sound really strange. Should that stop you? Heck nope. I only started doing this about 3 years ago. so try it.) practice my draw with toy revolvers.com/2013/07/8-unusual-screenwriting-tips 3/11 . sing songs from HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (do I love comic operas or what?) -- anything that jump starts my brain creatively is alright by me -. but I do have to say. then I suggest sitting in your bathtub for a while. but it works.even becoming El Espadachín while I write in my office (as demonstrated below. try doing a monologue you want to include your screenplay. Perhaps you should wear wigs and costumes when you're stumped. Also -. Does trying this make you a weirdo? Yes. I do interpretive dance (ironically. If you're stuck on a scene -. Talk to yourself And I'm not just talking about reciting lines of dialog from your story. http://nofilmschool. my characters have become much more dimensional and unique since I started. just say it. pride.) What all of these silly things do.it's not flowing well and the dialog feels contrived.

Two women meeting outside a cafe turned into 6 pages of drama in my journal. I write their story. Take time to just marinate http://nofilmschool. If my script has a scene where my hypothetical outcast goth character goes to a fluorescent grocery store. write about it. or the lonely guy at a bar. you just need to have a certain degree of empathy for your characters. However. You don't need to be an actor to assume a role. It's more about learning from other people's interactions. so keep your eyes and ears open and your pen ready. One of my screenplays called for my severely conflicted and hopeless protagonist to give up on her internal and external goals. you better believe I'm getting a trench coat and going shopping. Whenever I see someone interesting. Be your characters If you're unable to imagine who your characters are in your head.com/2013/07/8-unusual-screenwriting-tips 4/11 . perhaps you need to know what it's like to be them. Finding your creativity shouldn't result in a felony.11/07/2017 8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart and Maintain Your Creativity Become a voyeur This isn't just about watching people when they don't know you're doing it. you might find something new. so I took advantage of a particularly rainy day and sat outside in my yard until I felt what I thought she'd be feeling. The cliché situations that come to mind are the middle-aged couple in a coffee shop that don't speak or look at each other. if you look around a bit more. And when you do.

F E AT U R E D ( / TA G S / F E AT U R E D ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) S C R I P T ( / TA G S / S C R I P T ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) S C R E E N W R I T I N G ( / TA G S / S C R E E N W R I T I N G ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) S C R E E N P L AY ( / TA G S / S C R E E N P L AY ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) T I P S ( / TA G S / T I P S ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) C R E AT I V I T Y ( / TA G S / C R E AT I V I T Y ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) F R E E W R I T I N G ( / TA G S / F R E E . I like to sit at bars.better yet. have a couple of drinks. I like to do this on my porch with a smee and a coffee in the morning. All of the things I've mentioned have paid incredible dividends to my screenplays.W R I T I N G ? T Y P E = A R T I C L E S ) YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE How Do You Write? The Answers of Not Ready to Let People Read Your 20 Things That Helped Me Finish the Notable Screenwriters May Help Your Script? Here Are Some Tips on How to (Current Draft of the) MANCHILD Process Get There Screenplay http://nofilmschool. and creating conflict. wonder about it. Find a place and time where you can let your mind wander.com/2013/07/8-unusual-screenwriting-tips 5/11 . put on my headphones. sometimes unconventional methods.com/2013/01/things-helped-finish-manchild-screenplay/) -- many of which you'll find on your own.just let it be a relaxing time for you to kick your feet up and let your thoughts meander. they did cost me a little pride. *** There are so many great ways to get your creative juices flowing (http://nofilmschool. even if. During the summer. I'm always pleasantly surprised by the ideas that suddenly pop into my head once I've stopped stressing about structure. pacing. Set apart some time for yourself to simply think about your screenplay -. Try not to hash out the details of your story -. In the colder months.11/07/2017 8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart and Maintain Your Creativity I'm a huge fan of being still and just -.thinking. and kick random story ideas around in my head. What about you? How do you kickstart your creativity? Let us know in the comments. at times. but I think it's important to be open to new.

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