For those who have been following this blog, most of the information in the latest edition of “The 15-Minute Movie Method” can be found here for free. The book simply collects and organizes information to make it easier to read. The latest edition mostly corrects typos and errors so it’s not necessary to purchase if you already have a recent copy.
For anyone who has not purchased the book yet, it’s available as both a Kindle ebook and a printed paperback so you can purchase whichever version you prefer. The ebook version has been redesigned with a special ebook creation program to make it appear best within digital ebook readers.
The essence of the book is that you should always plan yours tory before you rush out and write it. Novices too often try to write and make up their story as they go along, which practically guarantees a complete mess. It’s far better to plan ahead and once you have a rough idea where your story is going, then start writing.
As you write, you may find your story going in another direction, but having a plan from the start will keep you from going off on a complete tangent and wasting time writing pages that will ultimately be thrown away.
Spending a lot of time writing a screenplay either means you’re refining it or you’re trying to figure out what your story is about. If you’re writing and rewriting just to figure out your story, you’re wasting your time. Never feel that just because you rewrote something a dozen times that you’ve somehow made it better. You may have simply rewrote it a dozen times where all dozen versions are equally flawed.
Before writing, describe your story in an outline with the main plot points, or write a treatment that describes what happens in paragraph form. This will be a far easier way to plot your story because it’s easy to delete or rearrange a few sentences or paragraphs. It’s not easy or fun to delete or rearrange dozens of pages that you’ve already written in your screenplay.
Ultimately, there’s a fast way to write a screenplay and there’s a slow way. The slow way involves charging ahead and writing over and over again until you figure out what story you want to tell. The fast way is to plan ahead and then start writing once you know what story you want to tell. Which option do you want?