#8 My First Screenplay: Basics: Four questions
In ascertaining whether a story is worth telling, any story idea is subjected to the Four Questions:
1. Who is your main character? Eddie Carter
2. What is he trying to accomplish? Protect the woman he loves
3. Who is trying to stop him? Commander Campbell
4. What happens if he fails? He will die and she will marry Campbell
This process looks very simple and straight forward, or so I thought at the outset, but after a lot —– of trial and —– error, I eventually came up with the outline above.
How does this help? I think it is a bit like the lead on a dog; if you allow the dog to pull you, the dog takes you for the walk, but if you keep on dragging it back, eventually the dog get’s the message, not to pull on the lead, so you can now take the dog for a walk and not the other way about.
I enjoy writing a lot, and it is very easy to let your imagination run riot and get involved with the characters you are creating. I would say that the four questions are a bit like the lead on the dog, and your imagination is the dog that needs some control. A screen play is at most 2 hours, so the script needs to be to the point and always show rather than tell.
This has worked for me, and you may find a completely different way of working, this is not an absolute science it’s an art form, find what works for you.
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