Every week I come across a writer who is confused and despondent about their draft. This is more often than not because their story is unclear on the actual page, yet it’s clear in their head. There will be a disconnect between what they want to write and it hitting the ‘bull’s eye’ for the reader. Supersadface.
Nine times out of ten, a draft’s story is unclear because the writer has some kind of craft problem. This will usually relate to concept, character and structure. Basically, these are the ‘holy trinity’ in terms of making your potential audience UNDERSTAND what your story is about.
How does this happen?
When stories are unclear, it’s often because writers have:
- dived headlong into a draft
- allowed themselves to describe ‘around the story’ in their first logline
- changed their initial concept as they wrote the draft (but not allowed for this)
- Not been sure of the ‘3 Cs’ – clarity, conflict, characters
Here’s What To Do To Fix It
Whatever the case, it’s usually because writers have not road tested their concepts effectively. When this occurs, this is what B2W recommends:
1) Return FIRST to the concept
2) Write a cast list of your characters
3) Write a short outline
Most writers won’t want to do the above. Instead they will fiddle with individual scenes, characters, etc and hope that will work instead. If it does, it will be by accident rather than design – and will take twice as long. The above might seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually the quickest and most efficient way to get a hold of a draft that is ‘misfiring’. Good luck!
Take Your Writing To The NEXT LEVEL!
We all know format is the LEAST of our problems as screenwriters … but *how* do we improve our writing craft?? My course with LondonSWF, Advanced Fundamentals of Screenwriting at Ealing Studios, London (Oct 20th-21st, 2018). Over two days, we will put writing craft under the microscope & you will learn tricks to elevate your writing to the NEXT LEVEL. Don’t miss out!
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