(Why this clip? Because it’s funny.)
*Thanks to Dave Trottier, author of THE SCREENWRITER’S BIBLE, for inspiring this post.
When you go to the movies or watch something at home, you want to be entertained. Goes without saying, right? If it’s a dull story, then you’re going to be bored out of your skull. Who wants that?
Certainly not the person who wrote the script. They want you to have a good time! To care about what happens next! To find the travails of these characters so fascinating you focus all your attention on what’s transpiring on the screen in front of you!
As always, it starts with the script. Is it lively and colorful, or drab and sluggish? Do scenes zip along, keeping things interesting, or do they just sit there and nothing happens?
It’s not just about what’s happening in the story, but how the story is told. Think about how you’d tell a joke. Not in a flat monotone, but animated with hand gestures and facial expressions. Your job as a screenwriter is to do the same thing, but with words.
“But I can’t do that!,” you might say. Sure you can. Look at the last thing you wrote. Does it make you want to keep reading? If not, how could you change it so you’d want to?
One of the most important things a writer should do is NOT see writing as a chore. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t be writing in the first place. You write because you like (or even love) to. So enjoy it.
Enjoy yourself. Have fun. And when you’re done, it’ll be right there on the page for everybody else to see.