Trying to go straight into writing your script after coming up with an idea can be very challenging. With all those different creative ideas coming at you at once, it can be tricky to keep them organized and get going. Every writer has their own process, and these are my 3 steps on how to go from idea to script. First things first, I open up a google document and start with the following:
- Idea flush – This is where I free-write and brainstorm my idea. Asking the question “what if” at every turn of the story. I also write some background information about the characters in the story. It gives me a clearer understanding of who they are and what their objectives are. I like to include filming style, especially if you plan on directing this. I also include mood and music examples from different movies, to help keep the tone and emotion front of mind. Every creative thought I have about this idea can live in this idea flush document that I can reference later. It feels relieving to have all those creative thoughts in one place. Once you think of your idea, I find doing the Idea Flush as soon as possible is very valuable in keeping the momentum of your idea going.
- Beat sheet– I think this is essential in the script writing process. This is where you break up your story into three parts/acts. This includes the introduction/setup (Act 1), the middle conflict (Act 2), and the last act (Act 3) which includes the climax and resolution. Having all of these for the purpose of creating an intriguing story is critical. The beat sheet should include all the major points in the story. I also like to include some dialogue in here which makes my writing process flow smoother when writing the script.
- Having an inspirational script as reference – This is a personal preference and fun part of the process for me. It was easier for me to have a script printed by my side, along with the idea flush and the beat sheet. In my last story I printed the Kill Bill script by Quentin Tarintino because I was making a story based on revenge. It gave me a sense of how he created the mood for his story. It felt motivating to read and by doing so it can generate some more ideas.
Have your script writing program (I use Final Draft) and your documents ready and enjoy the process!