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

“The Naked Writer’s How to Get Movement in Talky Scenes”

When you create movement in a scene for the mere sake of moving characters about in talky scenes, it is very likely the scene comes off just as that on the screen, creating movement for the sake of creating movement. Every movement in every scene should orchestrate and expand the character(s), the theme and the story.

For example, instead of having two characters walk in a park and talk to give them movement and us story information, have one of them riding a bicycle and the other using a pogo stick, you see different sides of who they are. Let’s pretend the theme is health. Maybe the bicycle rider is unable to walk or run for distance because of a serious knee injury he sustained in college. This disability will come suspensefully into play later when the character has to save the other character from the villain before he kills him. When his knee fails him, he hops on a bike and saves the day.

Simultaneously, the pogo sticker is pogo sticking because walking doesn’t move him along rapidly enough and riding a bicycle is boring for him. He is a Type A personality. His impatience causes him to be disabled by the villain. He uses pogo sticks to escape unaware that to slow down would save himself because his friend is chasing the villain on a bad knee.

It all culminates when his friend comes to the rescue just as he is slowing his pace because of exhaustion. He learns that speed is not always the quickest way to success.

It is obvious by this example how much the story is embellished and the characters fleshed out by not only giving the characters movement in talky scenes, but giving them dimension as well. In turn, this dimensionalizes the story and makes for more depth in the film.