Beating the Writer’s Block

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The biggest adversary of screenwriters across the globe is the Writer’s Block. It is also the most difficult hurdle to overcome in the writing process. This comes in different shapes and forms: ‘I just do not feel like writing now/today’ ‘I do not know how to take this character/ scene forward’ ‘This conflict does not feel good enough’ and so on. Staring at a blank page, waiting for the words to come can be quite frustrating, more so when you are starting out as a screenwriter. Here are few techniques to fight this menacing monster:

Draw a plot outline

This is a good practice which involves defining the characters, scenes, flow of events and all important elements of the story before starting to write the actual script.

Do not be a victim of perfection

Do not try to be extremely good in the first go. The quickest way to write is not to think about making it perfect. Just go ahead and write something, review it and make it better. Writing is an iterative process and nothing is set in stone.

Unburden yourself

You have to eventually write the full film/episode/play, but for now you have to finish this scene. Thinking about the volume of writing that is still left to be done will do you no good and will only busy your mind with the deadlines rather than the problem in hand.

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Focus on the problem area

Think about the world, the characters, the complexity, and most importantly the conflict of the scene that you are currently working on. Take a break and imagine the scene, visualize the setup, let the dialogues flow, replay it multiple times in your mind until you have something that you feel is good enough to write. Eventually the answers will come to you. Unconscious mind of a talented writer has already created stories within it. Once he is inspired enough, these find their way to his work.

Skip ahead

Sometimes certain scenes and characters take time to come to you. In such situations it helps to go ahead and get done with easy ones while you are waiting for the breakthrough, on the complex stuff. Writing is rooted to your emotions, so there can be days when you cannot bring yourself to write something funny and in mood for something serious and drama oriented. So go ahead and pick that part of script which suits your mood.

Set a schedule

This works for many professional writers. Dedicating a slot in the day purely for writing can help you get that procrastination out of the way. This helps in making sure that your other day-to-day activities do not stop you from writing. There can be thousands of legitimate reasons for you not to write and which you will eventually end up calling writer’s block.

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Ultimately it all boil down to getting yourself to writing. As many screenwriters suggest ‘Get to your desk, say I do not have a writer’s block and start writing. That is the only way.’

How To Write Beautiful Scripts

What makes a great film? Of course there have to be great performances from the actors, sound direction from the director, and beautiful cinematography from the cinematographer. But before all of that, and perhaps most importantly, there must be, a great script. So the onus of a great film, with a captivating story, falls on the ingenious and inventive script-writing abilities of the script-writer. So how does one write compelling scripts?

 

  1. Honest, Real Life Stories: Truth is always the most compelling. The plot might be fictitious, but the basic stories that one writes, the characters that one creates, need to be rooted in real life. That’s when people identify and empathize with the characters and with the story

  2. Discipline: On a slightly different note, but equally important, is the discipline of writing. Writing a script is no easy feat. One has to commit to it wholeheartedly, and devise a schedule that one follows religiously. Only disciplined training can yield good writing

  3. Conflicts & Character Arcs: One’s story needs to have a main character. And that main character needs to have a flaw. For example, if there is a father & son story, the flaw of the father might be that he is too hard on his son. But if this flaw remains true until the end, the story becomes much less involving. Instead, if the character evolves, and by the end of the film, realizes that he was too hard on his son and is willing to change; the story becomes a lot more believable, and then the involvement from the audience is rewarded with the change that comes about in that character. No one wants to see one dimensional characters. Change and evolution are imperative to a good script

  4. Pacing: The structural pacing of a script is extremely important as well. Too often, one feels that a film was very gripping until the interval, and then lost its hold – or vice-versa. For this, the script needs to be written with a keen eye for its pacing – by providing plot points and story aspects just the right amount of screen time as they deserve.

  5. Education: And finally, to truly master all the above tips; the best way is to get a great script-writing education. There are too many nuances and facets to script-writing. And by learning the art & science of script writing at a professional school from seasoned writers; will give you an in depth and thorough understanding of how to develop stories, characters, and screenplays

We often feel that we have a story that needs to be told. A story that begs to be made into a film. But to truly turn that idea into a viable and engaging script requires hard work, discipline, creativity, and a number of writing basics. With the right background, it is all possible. So when are you going to tell your story?

Passion, Against All Odds!!

Passion is often times scoffed upon. Especially if that passion lies in a traditionally unconventional area such as Film. Often times, parents, elders, society, even peers do not accept that we are capable of turning our passion into a rewarding and fulfilling career. But to all those detractors and naysayers, one person that serves as an inspirational example, is famed Film-maker Anurag Kashyap

But Anurag Kashyap’s present stature as an irreverent, avant guard, if somewhat rebellious Film-maker, is today masked by enviable critical & commercial acclaim. The son of a modest electricity board employee, Anurag Kashyap was studying in college in Delhi. However, his parents back home had little idea that their young son was in a whirlpool of self-doubt, confusion, and consequently, in drug-infused haze as he grappled with figuring out what he wanted to do in life. In the meantime, his father wanted him back in Lucknow, the family believing that their already unsure son would go completely wayward, convinced he was a good for nothing!

Anurag carried the burden of his family’s distrust in his abilities. A friend introduced him in Delhi to a theater group, and through them, he attended a Film festival, where he watched as many as 55 Films through the course of the few days the event lasted. His mind was made up. What followed was a long drawn fight for survival. Survival in cold, expensive Mumbai; and the desperate hunt for work, in an often shut-off-to-outsiders Film industry. And Anurag was the poster boy of an outsider. His geography, his ideology, his Film idiom, and his origins; he was a rank & complete outsider. Despite this, he persevered, and never gave up. Sure there was constant self-doubt, but the light of his passions ran through and quelled the gloom of hopelessness, until one day, in 1995, he got his first real Film job. He started working with director Shivam Nair. Next up was working on Satya with Ram Gopal Verma, and then there was no looking back.

Anurag Kashyap’s 14 year struggle to make his celluloid dreams come true is a true story of the triumph of the human spirit. Today, the same degree of passion, if supported by a sound Film education at an accomplished Film academy, can guarantee a rewarding career in Film-making, without the relentless and seemingly unending struggle. With a keen insight into Films academically, both theoretical & practical, and tie ups with big Film studios and Film-makers, graduates from a leading Film academy don’t have to fend for themselves. They can get great internship and work opportunities, from where they can build their work portfolios, and their network of contacts, and use that as a bouncing board for a sure and fulfilling career in Films.

The choice then is yours. Do you want to engage your creative passion in a decade long chase for glory, or qualify yourself professionally, and start making your Film dreams come true, right after studying?


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