Creativity Boosting Exercises Screenwriters Should Know
Having troubles finding something to write about? Not satisfied with the content of your screenplay? Feel like you are out of screenplay ideas?
By Chicago Screenplay Awards Dept.
Having troubles finding something to write about? Not satisfied with the content of your screenplay? Feel like you are out of screenplay ideas? Well you may be going through a writer’s block and struggling to find creativity. Staying in that state can damage your writing and the routine that you have created for your work. It is important to get out of this slump and continue on with your work.
There are many exercises that you can adopt in your daily routine to keep on writing and improve your skills as a writer as well.
Read on as we help you in overcoming the writer’s block and develop your creativity.
A Small Change Can Go A Long Way
When writing screenplays, a screenwriter might create a scenario where the dialogues and situation may be too long or dragged out. To help you improve your creativity, take any scene from your script where the dialogue is the longest and completely change it around. Put your character in an extreme situation, of your choice, where they are exposed to something hard to handle.
Use your creativity to portray how the character will act in that situation and the subtle reactions and feelings that they might show. After you have started to write about the change in scenario, you will notice that you do not have to put in much effort to guide the character and construct the story, the character will lead their own twists and turns to their story.
A small change in scenarios and how you approach it can make a big difference in the way your story moves forward from there on.
Go In Reverse Mode
You may be confused about what writing in reverse could mean and that is valid. Let us explain what we mean. This exercise requires that rather than writing a full script and turning it into a film, instead you choose a specific scene from a film and go on to make a script out of it with your own words and ideas.
This fun exercise can get your brain working in overdrive with the multitude of possibilities flashing through your mind. You can change your perspective and write a sample screenplay with that scene as your base and compare it to the original screenplay to see the difference.
Get Inspiration From Others’ Work For Practice
Before you go on and start copying other screenwriters’ screenplays for creating your own screenplays, you should know that stealing someone’s work is wrong and illegal. When we say that get inspiration from other works we want you to read other scripts and take a few scenes from it to create your own version of it, just for practice purposes!
Take an idea or scenario given by the writer in the screenplay and create your own screenplay dialogue, give it an alternative ending or follow the same ending scene. Do whatever you want but just make sure to have fun with it to and experience the freedom to write anything.
Don’t Tell, Just Show
A scene can get boring or too much depending upon how the character displays and expresses their feelings in situations. If a person continuously talks about how they feel, it can annoy the readers.
The best way to deal with the problem of overbearing emotions is to use your words to create a scenario where the character’s expressions, behavior and actions explains how they are feeling. Rather than stating simply that ‘I am angry’, a dialogue should be constructed where the character emotes through their actions. This exercise will enable writers to express a character’s emotions through their actions more and will immerse the reader.
Find Creativity in the Mundane
We may ignore the general routine, behavior, and even objects that we observe in our daily life because of how unimportant they seem. A screenwriter is supposed to observe their surroundings more than the normal person and find stories from the mundane objects and routines that they live.
An object, for example, an engraved pen may seem boring but in this exercise you have to take that pen as the center of your story and write details about it, describing its intricate styles and curvatures. This will improve how descriptive your scenes are and can help you evaluate your attention to detail which allows the readers to imagine scenes better. In this exercise, while observing the movement of people in the street or in a restaurant, think of the reasons behind what they did or what could have happened to them to lead them at that place at that exact time and write about it.
Read As Much As You Can
As a screenwriter you should make it into a habit to read books and screenplays of other writers to see how they approach their stories and what is unique about them. This exercise will help you understand how you can write a screenplay that can become successful.
The screenplay format of famous or successful screenplays can give many helpful hints on how to improve your writing. Set goals for a specific number of screenplays that you have to read and try to achieve that goal as much as possible, if you had planned on reading five, you will at least read two and even that is great for your writing process.
Compare the first and final drafts of the screenplays to identify the differences in them and evaluate why the changes were made. You can find screenplays online to study and read, the internet has a wide variety available.
You Have the Control
We may give you many tips and tricks to help guide you out of your writer’s block but in the end it is you who has the power to actually overcome your struggle. You should be persistent in your efforts and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Thinking about writing a screenplay and beating yourself up over how to end it will have negative impacts on you and will inhibit your creativity process.
Give yourself freedom and space to write. Try to expand your world of writing and creativity by taking ordinary objects around you and giving them their own special story.