Writing/Screenwriting Scenes

by
Donald L. Vasicek

Award-Winning Writer Donald L. Vasicek - Jenny's Lake - Grand Teton Park


When writing scripts, always think of movies and how
they transition from scene-to-scene. This is imperative.
This approach gives you more of a director’s
“eye.” In turn, the visual dynamics of writing visually
become more prominent the more you do it.
This gives a rhythm and movement to the entire script
that binds it more tightly together. It also helps you
avoid writer’s block. “Stepping” back and
looking at a scene that you’ve written with the idea of
looking at it like it is already a movie, when your mind
is blocking out, will improve your visual writing dynamics
and the scene. Step into the scene and become your
character.

For example, you have a character coming into a room.
How should you write that? Step back and look at it
as though you’re watching a movie? Think of a movie,
or movies that you have seen with this kind of action
with respect to the genre and kind of character you’re
writing. How is the character coming into the room done?

You will find that most good movies always cut-to-the-chase
with each scene. They do not mess around with details
that hinder the movement of the movie. If a character has
to be thrown into the room because she is a prisoner of
terrorists, then, throw her into the room. If a character simply
has to walk into the room, then, cut-to-the-chase. Get her
into the room as quickly as possible. Just make sure that
it is consistent with the rhythm and movement of the entire
story/script/movie/character.

For example, a character in your story is mild-mannered.
She loves daisies and brandy. She reads James Joyce.
She is a certified public accountant for a large accounting
firm. Everything she does has a place. How would you write
her entering a room? She would enter the room with
grace. She would smoothly take in everything in the
room. She would then proceed with the reason she is
entering the room.

Making scenes sparkle like this enhances the screenwriter’s
ability to excel in their craft.

Donald L. Vasicek
The Zen of Writing
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

“On Ghostwriting”

Donald L. Vasicek - Rabbit Ears Pass - Colorado

I’ve been ghostwriting books for several years. See
my portfolio. What I have experienced is that each
book is unique. Each person who wants their book
ghostwritten is unique. Each person has their own
kinds of information for the book. The amount of
information provided can cut down on research the
ghostwriter might have to do. In turn, then, this
decreases the amount of time the ghostwriter has
to spend on writing the book.

The subject matter of the book has to also be taken
into consideration. Will there be illustrations, photos,
etc.? Ghostwriting a book eliminates writing credit for
the ghostwriter. Because of this, the charge has to be
higher than if the ghostwriter was getting the credit for
writing the book.

There a host of things to consider before giving
a quote on how much it will cost to ghostwrite a book.

“Writing Movies and Documentaries, 101”

The Sand Creek Massacre Movie Poster

Writing of any form requires
study and research. The strength
of any type of writing resides in
the application of what one learns
and research, and then, applies it
by writing, writing, and more writing.
Each time one writes something, they
become a better writer.

It is rare a writer is hired to write a
documentary film. Many documentary films
do not have a script. Those that do, are
usually written by the director/producer
of the film. If a documentary script is written,
then you must write a double column script.

In a double column script you write the
visuals/images in the left column and the
audio/sound in the right column. While
the double-column script can help nail
down the exact shots blended with the
sound, the downside is that it places the
filmmaker in a corner. This corner is
a place that can limit the filmmaker’s
creativity, and virtually eliminate a cinema
verite approach to making documentaries.

As for feature films, short films, etc., one
can learn how to write screenplays through a
variety of ways. No approach to learning how
to write screenplays is inscribed in marble. It
is dependent upon the individual writer. Some take
screenwriting classes. Others study screenwriting
books. Some work with a script consultant until
they have their screenplay market ready. And others
wing it. And still others, utilize a combination of all
of the above.

You can determine what works best for you by knowing
who you are, how you best learn, why you want to write
documentaries, features, etc., and what audience you
want to attract with your work, and why. Answering
these questions will give you insight into what to
write and the approach to take in order how to learn
to write. That is the Zen of Writing.

The fine point of it is if you want to write movies
and/or documentaries, be sure you utilize more
than your passion for the subject matter unless
you are writing, simply, for the joy of writing.
Study and research Hollywood box hits. Study
and research successful documentary films.
Make certain you know, before you begin
writing, what you need to do in order to
write a successful script. Otherwise, you
will enter the world of writer who jumps
in with both feet without being aware of
what the reality of the business. In turn, this
can cause you to go on a journey into
insanity.

Donald L. Vasicek
Writer/Filmmaker/Consultant
Olympus Films+, LLC
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net