Saturday, May 4, 2019

How to write a story for a movie

Any aspiring screenwriter can easily identify there is a story behind each movie. In movie making business we project a story on screen. Therefore the job of any screenwriter is to develop a story first and then develop the script based on the story.

how to write a story for a movie

If you are absolute new, then read: How to write a screenplay for absolute beginners?

If you are not aware of the difference between script and screenplay then read: Difference between script and screenplay

If you are not aware of movie screenplay format, then read: Screenplay Format

In movie making business the right term is plot and we deal with plot.

Is there any difference between plot and story?

Logically there is no difference. Both point at same thing. But industry follows the term plot. If we dig deep then we could find there is a thin line difference between plot and story. However we can use both the terms interchangeably irrespective of the platform we are in.

How to write a story for a movie?

  1. Idea

  2. Not only movie projects, any project that always begins with idea. So before even writing the first word of a story, you must have an idea upon which you want to write the story. The real struggle is not to develop a story but to get an idea. Idea has its own characteristics. If you sit and want to get idea it wont come to mind. And you are busy in some other work, then an idea will popup. This is one of the peculiar characteristics of idea. Thats why professionals claim idea often appear during subconscious state. Okay, there are other options too people follow to get idea for a movie. One of the easiest approach is to recollect news headlines.

    One of the news headlines, 'Millionair escapes from Naxalites' I read some days ago. And this head line has potential to make into a movie. The moment I read the headline, ten questions appeared in my mind. Such as: Who is this millionaire? How did Naxalites kidnap him? How did he survive the torture? How did he escape?
    If I find out answers to the questions, then I got a beautiful story. Right?

    One way to find out the answers to the question, is to read the news article and do online research. Or I can also come out with my version of answer. This is the liberty we get in fiction story telling. As author, you have the choice. Once you have an idea, what next?
  3. End

  4. Then you have to understand the ending part. What should be the end? Why ending matters first? Suppose you to travel but dont know know where to travel. Then you would end up travelling endlessly. However, if you decide where to travel, then rest thing becomes easy. Often, new writers, they begin writing immediate after getting an idea and land up in an endless journey of developing story where they can not figure out how to end. Thats why it is important to figure out the ending part first. In the example, millionaire escapes naxalites, the ending part is clear. And the ending part is millionaire escapes. So I know where to reach.
    For example, I have a different idea, 'a physically challenged boy can fly'. This is an interesting idea. But here there is no clear ending. We have just an idea. As author my job would be decide an ending. Perhaps he sacrifices his power to save mankind could be best ending for the idea I have. If later on I realised the decided ending is not suitable then I can change the ending later on. The point here is to proceed I must have an ending.
  5. Structure

  6. Structure: We follow 3 act structure. In simple language, beginning middle and end. In the mentioned example, the beginning part could be, how the millionaire was kidnapped? The middle part could be, the millionaire survivals to the torture of naxalites meanwhile finding a way to escape. And the end part could be, the millionaire escaped from the naxalites. Once you have an idea and then figured out the ending part then its time to figure out beginning, middle and end. By the way, right term to refer beginning is Setup, The right term to refer middle is Confrontation and the right term to refer end part is Resolution.
  7. Characters

  8. Once you understand the beginning, middle and end then you must have few characters in the so far figured out content. Its time to know more about the characters. In the mentioned example, my first job would be to figure out who is this millionaire, what he does for living, how much reputation he has in the market etc. Then if he has love interest or wife, then its time to know about his wife and family members. Similarly I have to figure out who are the prime naxalites and who is their leader. Their personal life. Their family members. Once I know all the characters then I am ready to proceed to next step.
  9. Plot/story Construction

  10. At this point, I am aware of beginning, middle and end. And also I am well aware the characters that are present. So its time to develop a plot or story. The major events that take place. It should begin at who is this millionaire and should end at how he escaped from naxalites. Few prefer to write it in simple present tense and few others prefer to write in simple past tense. It does not matter. Keep plot or story in linear fashion only. It means keep all the events of the story in linear fashion. But while developing script you can go for non linear story telling.
Note: Some professionals don't spend time on story development. Because most of such writers go for adaptation of some novel. Where as other, jump straight to write scene after scene and keep on improvising over and over again. 

My suggestion to you would be if you are absolute new in to the industry, work bit hard and develop the story first and then develop script based upon the story. 

No comments:

Post a Comment