Three famous screenwriters — Nikolai Kulikov ("Legend No. 17", "Gorky"), Konstantin Mayer ("Physical Education Teacher", "I'm losing weight") and Roman Kantor ("Epidemic", "Dead Lake") — launched the podcast "The episode clan ", where they analyze the scripts of films and TV series, recall situations from their practice and spin ideas right in the studio. They also give tips for those who want to master the skills of a screenwriter — here are 10 of them in the article.
Write first, edit later — you can find this rule in any list of tips for writers, which does not detract from its value at all. You can rewrite your text endlessly, and this will drive you into a dead end. High standards are good, but in order for perfectionism not to interfere, but to help, first write and only then sit down to edit.
Sometimes there is so much to do in a day that the need to fulfill a duty kills the desire to write. Procrastination often happens because of high expectations. To ward it off, try to start the day by solving some simple task. So from the very morning you will take off the burden of responsibility a little.
If there is no simple and pleasant task at hand, then you can just come up with it. For example, write down a dozen names of non-existent football clubs (or varieties of tomatoes, or Soviet pioneer camps): "Saratov Patriots", "Novosibirsk Snowmen". Nine of them, of course, will be stupid, but one will certainly make you laugh and help you get involved in the workflow.
A similar technology can be used when working with dialogs. If you need to write a complex scene, you can accelerate a little by sketching how the characters talk about trifles, how they discuss everyday life or just the news. This way you will gradually find their voices and emotions and get to the heart of the scene. You will not notice how you will simply record your characters.
If you work in a team of authors, then an invaluable bunch of "Yes, and" is your must-have tool. If one of your colleagues suggested an idea, then do not rush to scrap it, better try to "throw" something on top. Pick up and develop each other's thoughts and don't rush to criticize them. "Yes, and" will save you a lot of time and energy that you would spend devaluing each other's ideas.
Any job needs a deadline. Without a clear deadline, it is difficult to prioritize your tasks, write regularly and effectively. A burning date on the calendar forces you to mobilize resources and regularly assess your progress. Another important condition for a productive creative process is a properly set goal for the day. You should never take on everything at once. It is much more effective to pinpoint the place of application of efforts and focus on one thing, whether it is a separate dialogue, a scene or the shortcomings of the overall structure of the script.
Sometimes the script comes to a dead end: it is unclear how to build a third act or a complex scene, how to make the hero convincing. If you are experiencing a crisis of good ideas, then take up the bad ones. Write down ten ideas that would be most inappropriate under the circumstances. Let the hero commit an illogical act, let the third act turn out to be extremely boring, and the scene will lead to nothing. Bad ideas are often followed by good ones. Aaron Sorkin himself trusts this method.
One of the best tools for developing ideas for movies and TV series is "bamba". Take two very different ideas and combine them. What if it's Groundhog Day, but sci-fi? We will get the "Edge of the future". What if it's "Groundhog Day", only horror? There will be a "Happy Death Day". What if it's "Ulysses", but only a manga, the time of action is the XXI century and everything happens in Lyubertsy? Even we don't know what might come of it. You can combine anything. The more non-obvious the pairs are, the more unexpected the result you can get.
Sometimes the fear of a clean slate turns into a real problem. To overcome this condition, start writing. You can even write complete nonsense, but the main thing is to write. At some point in this useless writing, your brain will get into the game and start throwing up new ideas. This process is a bit like the finale of Vladimir Sorokin's "Norm", where the text begins to break up into incoherent combinations of letters, but here it will be the opposite. Start with incoherent words and clueless phrases, and your brain will help you connect them into sentences, paragraphs and pages.
David Milch's master class The Idea of the Writer is a source of strange but interesting tips. Here's an example: "Two voices, no names, no descriptions. No descriptions at all. Just voice-1 and voice-2. Don't explain the setting. Write for these two voices for at least 20 minutes. Just follow them, write down everything they say. But don't sit on it for more than 50 minutes. Then put what you got into an envelope, seal it and put it away. Don't discuss what you've written, don't think about it. The next day, at the same time, sit down and open this envelope. Read everything you've written and you'll see that these voices are different now."
To write is to rewrite.