Seeking the feng shui-ness of your script

A place for everything, and everything in its place
A place for everything, and everything in its place

Got some great notes for my western spec. Some of the suggestions involve significant moments I hadn’t considered – now I have to figure out where these should take place. A daunting task indeed, but also not too challenging.

It’s one thing to plot out a story, but knowing how to do it effectively is a little more complicated.

You can’t just throw stuff in there and hope it sticks. Information has to be doled out appropriately so it not only fleshes out the characters, strengthens and advances the story and the plot, and most importantly, keeps the reader/audience interested.

If you’ve put together a solid outline (as you should before moving on to pages), all the help you need is right there in front of you. Take a look at how your story develops. Do things happen the way you want them to, and do they happen when you want them to?

As you work your way forward, are you seeing potential opportunities for where something could be added or possibly changed? Would that scene from way back near the beginning work better somewhere later on?

Once you find somewhere that scene could go, is it a good fit within the flow of how the story’s developing? Does it keep that forward momentum going while providing us with some kind of necessary information?

Take the time to figure these kinds of things out. It may be frustrating now, but once you work your way through it, you’ll have a better script and wonder what it was you were so worried about.

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