Wednesday, December 23, 2009

TODAY'S NUGGET: Outlining B.S.

I do not like to outline.
I do not like it with a spoon.
I do not like it with the moon.
I do not like to outline.

I know that outlining B.S. (Before Script) is a necessary evil. But I don't have to like it.

How can I make it more efficient and more effective? Here are 3 things I learned from reading some great spec scripts:

1. Check so that your protagonist faces the antagonist in every scene. (Every scene? YES. In some way, shape, memory, or form, the antagonist needs to be there.)

2. Check so that your protagonist & antagonist both face his/her flaw & fear in escalating steps. It must be clear one wins, the other loses...then it switches. Is there enough one upmanships?

3. If you are too easy on your protagonist, you will struggle with plot. You'll run out of obstacles. You'll wonder why you're always stuck on p. 60. Throw everything you've got at him/her.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Skipping the outline is like going to the Grand Canyon without a map.

Smart adventurers know that no matter how many times you've been there, you always take a map.

*Tomorrow's Nugget: Outlining In the Trenches (During Writing)

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