Write Backwards

Most people start a screenplay at the beginning and work their way to the end. The problem with this approach is that it often leads to a dead end when you run out of ideas around page 40. If you keep writing, your new writing will likely feel disjointed from the beginning. Then you have to go through multiple drafts to make sure everything makes sense, which involves lots of writing and rewriting along with deleting and moving entire scenes. In other words, it’s a mess.

Rather than start at the beginning, start at the end. Then work towards the beginning. By starting at the end, you’ll know how you want your story to end. Then you can work towards the beginning to make sure you put the necessary details in to make your ending work. When you get to the beginning, you’ll just need to create a compelling opening that’s somehow related to your ending.

By starting with the end first, you’ll never risk running into a dead end, wondering what to do next. Instead, you’ll just be filling in the gaps to make sure that everything supports your ending. That keeps you from adding irrelevant details that serve no purpose. Instead, you’ll be forced to focus on creating everything solely to support your ending, which can result in a tighter and more coherent story.

If you’ve been frustrated writing screenplays that wind up half-completed, try starting from the end and working backwards to the beginning. You may find that this simple approach can greatly simplify the process of writing your entire story.

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