Constantly Changing Scenes!

Where do ideas come from? How do you brainstorm or find new seeds to develop? Having trouble staying motivated or overcoming obstacles in your path? Share tricks and tips for finding new stories to tell and getting them on the page!

Constantly Changing Scenes!

Postby heather » Dec 14, 2009 4:52 pm

Hello this is my first screenplay and I have about 50 pages so far. The problem is that I find my self constantly changing scenes. I'm either making them better or introducing new characters and rewriting the movie. I wanted to know if this is normal and good to do through out the process. Is it good to rewrite constantly? Oh and I do make character bios for my new characters.

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Re: Constantly Changing Scenes!

Postby Chris Huntley » Dec 16, 2009 3:02 pm

I recommend plowing forward through to the end with a minimal amount of rewriting as you go along. By the time you reach the end, you may have a better idea of what the story is REALLY about.

Screenwriting is all about rewriting. It is easier to rewrite when you know where you are going.
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Re: Constantly Changing Scenes!

Postby BrianReynolds » Jul 01, 2010 1:11 pm

I do not write in a linear fashion. I start by writing an outline of my idea, and if I find myself to write a scene, I stop and write that. I don't worry about whether it belongs in the final script, if it belongs where I'm currently at, or anything other than getting it on the page. When my inspiration to write specific action/dialogue wanes, I go back to writing out the outline.

I find that by simply going where my inspiration takes me, I write a lot more than I ever thought would be possible, and simply isn't possible if I start at page one and MAKE myself write what's next. I balance this non-linear method by using Screenwriter 6 to insert a lot of notes about what I need to establish in earlier scenes, how this scene ties into the story as a whole, ideas for other scenes, etc.

When I am finished with the outline and stuck for what to write next, I read back through my material and write up a todo list. A sample:

To Do:
Transition from best day ever to landlord date.
Rachel and Willow discuss the date
Final move, Brian and Mr. Nakamura Chanting
Investigation of Landlord
Transition from Funeral to Mr. Peabody dinner
Transition from Nigel to Purse Snatcher
Investigation of Purse Snatcher
Rewrite Willow discovers Brian on Jumbotron
Transition from Willow talks to brian to Willow tells Rachel

If I'm still not inspired, I simply pick something from my todo list and buckle down and make myself do it. The more I use this method, the less I find I need to pick something to do. I just keep the flow going and getting words on the page.

At the end of getting this first draft together, I have way too much material. (My current romcom is 160 pages long, not counting notes). Scenes are anywhere from well-writen, final draft type stuff to complete garbage that needs a total rewrite.

But working with a first draft with lots of material you can edit down to a tight story is much easier than constantly trying to flesh out a skeleton because you've spent time worrying about what your first draft is like. Rewriting some dialogue that doesn't work and cutting unnecessary junk is easier when you have that first draft.

My last piece of advice: Don't edit your first draft. When your first draft is complete, lock it, save a new copy as "Draft Two" and work on that one. You'll never know what from the first draft might inspire you when working on the final draft. I've gone back and read my first draft and thought "Oh yeah! I totally want that joke/moment/line in the final draft." That big glorious mess you vomited forth will be a good place to go back to anytime you aren't inspired by the more polished versions.

Good luck!

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Re: Constantly Changing Scenes!

Postby forty » Sep 08, 2010 1:44 am

Again, you don't understand story structure (you don't know how a story should be laid out beginning to end).

Which is why you keep changing scenes etc.

Because you don't know where to go, you constantly keep going over the same ground.

Again, for structure, I refer you to
Screenplay Structure:
Online Formatting:

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