Author Topic: Interesting screenwriting exercises, to get those creative juices flowing  (Read 782 times)

Daniel Botha

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For Christmas, my sister gave me a self-help screenwriting book, written by Craig Batty called "Screenplays: how to write and sell them." The book is essentially like any other screenwriting guide; just another way of re-wording what we've already read elsewhere. Having said that, it's still been worth the read, so far.

One thing I've enjoyed is the Creative Exercises that the author gives to the reader. In these exercises, Batty attempts to put what he is writing about into practice. It's become more of a textbook than a guide, but still a worthwhile read. I haven't actually tried them, yet, but I've read them and they seem like they would actually help. As I read the book, I will be posting these exercises into this thread below, in the hope that some members of WA are interested. Obviously, I can't copy these exercises word-for-word, but I will make an attempt to deliver all the same points as Craig Batty.

Watch this space.

*Note* Any discussion on the exercises would be great. I'd like to see what people think about them. Has it been a success for you or did it not really help at all.

If anyone has their own ideas for writing exercises, feel free to write them down in a post, below.

Creative exercise #1

Get hold of a screenplay and think about how the writing on the page is connecting you with the story (or not). What does the page look like? What kind of descriptions are being used - if any - in the screen directions? Which feelings are being evoked by the words on the page, and hpw is that being done? How do you know who you should be empathizing with? What's the screenwriter giving you?

Creative Exercise #2

Using the title "Lost and Found", come up with an idea for a short film of five minutes' duration. Now come up with another idea, using the same title, only this time, make it ten minutes in length. Has anything changed or is the ten minute film simply based on the five minute idea? Have you added any characters? Now, come up with a feature length film idea using the same title. Take note of what has changed between the three versions. How might you pace yourself differently with each version. The purpose of this exercise is to essentially give writers an idea of how different forms of screenplays are structured. Through this exercise, writers may learn if their feature film idea is actually more suited to a short film, or vice versa.

Creative Exercise #3

Using one of the words below, write a stream-of-consciousness monologue (automatic writing) about your views on the word/subject. Don't hold back. Just write. Tell yourself what you think of it, bringing in any personal analogies. Once you've done this, try to abbreviate your thoughts into a sentence or two. How might you translate this into a character/plot?

  • Love
  • Hatred
  • Forgiveness
  • Marriage
  • Family
  • Death
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 04:15:14 PM by Daniel Botha »