Writing the first scene

My first homework for January 17th, 2011 at the screenwriting course was:

Homework: 1 scene, 2 people having 1 conflict, written on 2 pages.
Purpose: to become familiar with the format and style
Time used: Ok, that can’t be that difficult I thought. I had 4 hours. And 1 hour to go over it, shorten and rewrite some parts.
Tipps used: sit down and stay there, otherwise you won’t write anything. In the end you bring the dialog into the story and you might need to shorten it.

I had 1 week time and I had no idea what to write about. So the last evening (January 16) I sat before my laptop and thought the same again, what should I write, where should I start?

Then I’ve looked at my partner, sitting in front of the television and thought about our relationship, conflicts we had I thought about similar situations other couples might have too. I’ve choosed a simple subject, just for the training purpose and just started with something quite familiar to me and where other could identify themselves. When handing the finished paper to my partner to read it, he said: “Are you writing about us?” – “Our relationship is my inspiration,” I’ve stated. In fact, the conflict situation is pretty similar, the rest is imagination and the couple looks way different then we do.

Lesson learned: sit down and sit, sit, sit and write, write, write, and think about something you know, when you just start with screenwriting. It’s easier to have a basis and built up the story later. The more you go over it, the more you will change.

Feedback from teacher:
Great scene, you really have an unmistakeable sense for the elements of successful storytelling: danger, sensuality, love, family, the effort to overcome obstacles, visual thinking. Rises interest and creates suspense. The unexpect twist at the end (…). Also your dialogues are short. Perhaps you might want to give your dialogues more life, one or the other unfinished sentence, more individuality for the characters. Also your english is good (I wrote the scene in German and English). Keep it up! He also corrected in the scene one line: No direction at the end of the dialog, rather greate a scene direction.

=> Do you agree? I think to remember to have seen some screenplays, where the direction was at the end of the dialog (so called: direction while speaking).

Now you might want to know what my scene was. I’ll tell you another time, when the movie is made, if you don’t mind ;).

Lesson learned II: individuality in dialogues and not only the story but the right format is important too when writing a screenplay, (well, some people have to work with this).


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