Chapter 2: Getting Started and Story Structure
Aaron Sorkin is arguably the biggest name among working screenwriters in Hollywood right now. The man has conquered the Broadway stage, created multiple hit television series, and written several films that you have more than likely seen more than once and can probably quote without even thinking about it. In other words, he’s a pretty big deal, so I’m going to let you in on a secret here – this is a quote from the man himself:
“I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, "You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I'm not your agent and I'm not your mommy, I'm a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?" and I really, really don't. I'll go peaceable-like.”
The guy who wrote A Few Good Men and The Social Network, the guy who created The West Wing and The Newsroom, has trouble getting started on a new project. My reason for telling you all of this is simple – even for the best of us, beginning a new project is always a tough prospect. As long as you can get that out of the way and admit it up front, life is going to be a lot easier for you as you continue to work on your screenplay. Nothing that is gratifying is easy, and there are few things in life more gratifying then looking over your completed screenplay and saying “I did it.”
So if we know going in that this is going to be an uphill battle, how do we win the fight? Simple – you have a plan going in to the thing, and that plan is called story structure. You can’t build a house without blueprints, right? Starting a movie screenplay is no different.
Come back next week, when we begin our deep dive into story structure! Happy writing everyone!