“How To Beat Writer’s Block”

I am currently working on a short film script, but I’m unable to complete it. What should I do?

Award-Winning Writer/Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek on Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado

Award-Winning Writer/Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek on Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado


If you want to continue your career as a writer, then you need to go back into your script. Make sure your main character has a goal. Organize it so that you have a unifying theme, a main character, an antagonist (can be a person or a volcano or a radical political leader, etc.) or villain (in fiction, villains represent evil without any redeeming characteristics). The antagonist or villain must seek the same goal your main character is seeking. The difference between them is that the antagonist or villain represents a negative or evil way of doing it. Also, make sure you have a beginning, a middle and an end to your story. This doesn’t mean that it has to be in chronological order, just that you must have this in your script. Also, read your dialogue. Film is a visual medium, so you should strive to show in place of telling. Some dialogue can be changed to visuals in place of the dialogue. During this process, you will find that you will be able to complete your script with vim and vigor!!!

Do You Have An Idea for a Movie?

Donald L. Vasicek - Alfrech "Heap of Birds", Cheyenne on location in Clinton, Oklahoma during interview for the award-winning documentary film, "The Sand Creek Massacre"

Donald L. Vasicek – Alfrech “Heap of Birds”, Cheyenne on location in Clinton, Oklahoma during interview for the award-winning documentary film, “The Sand Creek Massacre”

Your Movie Idea(s)

So, you have an idea for a movie? There are steps that you can take to
make it into a screenplay. Unless you’re in the Hollywood loop, simply
selling your movie idea or movie ideas are virtually impossible. Do
you know why? Almost everyone has a movie idea or two or three, etc.
A more realistic approach to getting your movie idea noticed is to do
the following:

Steps to Take To Get Your Movie Idea(s) Noticed

A logline, a treatment, a script and a query letter should be written
by you or someone who has experience in writing screenplays. Once you
have accomplished this, then purchase a copy of “The Hollywood Creative
Directory”. There you will find studios, producers, and production
companies with their names, contact information and the kinds of movies
and/or television movies they have produced. Those are the people you
to whom you should send your query letter. You can also do an Internet
search for producers and production companies who are seeking screenplays
to produce. Also, purchase a copy of “The Hollywood Creative Directory
for Agents” and send them your query letter introducing yourself and
tell them about your screenplay as well.

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