How do I keep it going and interesting when I've come to a dead end?

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Avatar of Jared Charles Choate
Jared Charles Choate on May 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I have been writing a script for a series that I will film. It started out pretty good in my opinion. However, as I wrote more and more, I started running out of ideas and it started to seem really dry. I feel like I need to re-write the script but I want to be able to write it and have it be good. Any suggestions?

Avatar of Dominic Panico
Dominic Panico on May 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Well from what one of my film teachers told me is that once you write a script you should trash it and rewrite multiple of times because it will cause you to gather more ideas or rethink parts. supposibly this is the best way to write your best script. but nobody likes trashing something they spend days on and I can barely pump out ideas on paper as it is. hope this kinda helps.

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I wouldn’t say trash it, but I would definitely consider giving it some air, and then starting from the beginning. You’d be surprised to see how stupid, underdeveloped, unfunny, non-relevant, and inconsistent some of the “brilliant” stuff you’ve written may seem on a re-edit. You’ll notice the parts that need revision, most likely. Make sure you read your script out loud to yourself. Are the characters using believable dialogue for their situations. Does it sound corny? If so, then it probably is.

Two things: Would you mind sharing a brief synopsis? I might be able to help you better if I knew what your story was about and the direction you are trying to take it.

And is it possible that your story doesn’t have enough weight or momentum to carry itself through all the slow parts? Slow parts are necessary to highlight the climax and the various rising points of action, but you should never find anything you write to be boring, or flat. There are ways to make a simple trip to get milk from the grocery store interesting. Figure out a way to develop a character, or the setting during placid periods in your storyline.

It’s quite possible that your story doesn’t need to be as long as it is, in order to get your point across. Some of the fluff in the middle, the boring muck, might need to be curtailed in order to present a more streamlined story.

Some of the best parts of any story are the short stories within the greater ones. Maybe your story is better told in fifteen minutes than at feature length.

Avatar of Jared Charles Choate
Jared Charles Choate on May 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Well, I intend for it to be four or five episodes of 5-15 minute videos. The thing is, I want mine to be corny. I am not trying to make a serious movie by any means :D But yeah I’ll give the synopsis. It sounds really unoriginal and basic but I intend for there to be more stories going on. There is just one main thing that is happening in the background of all these other things happening. But here it is.

An alien invasion. Aliens come (which are not going to be shown mainly because making a costume is too hard. I have a drawing made of what they WOULD look like but that doesn’t help) but manage to be unseen. Just a few get through. But the government eventually figures out that the aliens got to Earth but already left. So, expecting them to return, the government starts creating a breed of super-humans. Most of them had been scattered to try to find clues as to when the aliens would return, but they never returned. So just one super-human remains. However, he is not the main character. The main characters are two soldiers fighting in the war for the planet. All of the super-human stuff is years before the war. But all that will be revealed in later episodes. So the main characters, Phillip and Lewis, are fighting in the alien invasion. They had been attacking for 7 years at this point. The government is telling them to sit back and let the aliens destroy everything pretty much. They decide to go against the code and fight them off. This makes them outlaws but they meet a mysterious man who knows a lot of things and how to defeat them (later to be revealed as the last super-human)

Wow… That wasn’t really brief but oh well, you might as well know everything :D I highly doubt anyone will steal my idea and if they do, I could care less :D

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm

So what are the “droughts” or boring stuff in the middle you’re experiencing? Because, honestly, the premise of your story sounds pretty awesome, like a cross between V and Heroes . . . kind of. I can’t really see how a story set up like this could be boring. And on a side note, if you’re going for classic campy sci-fi, that’s fine by me; I just wanted to make sure that was the tone you were aiming at.

Avatar of Jared Charles Choate
Jared Charles Choate on May 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Well I don’t know… I’m trying to add some humor into it. Just cheesy humor to add. The whole thing should be epic, emotional, but also funny at parts. Just it seems like trying to make the script past the first part talking about the invasion and the main characters starting their adventure, it starts getting to the point where it’s just dragging on. The script for the first episode seemed okay to me. It didn’t seem like what I wanted by any means, but it was okay. I could laugh at some parts myself. But after that, I read it and I lose interest, and I’m the one who wrote it haha. And I figure, if I lose interest, there’s no doubt others will. Yeah I have to say, the synopsis that I gave does make it sound pretty cool, I think it’s a good Idea, I think I’m just getting thrown off where the humor comes in. I want people to be able laugh and remember how much they laughed, but also be able to feel the emotion and suspense.

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 29, 2012 at 5:13 am

As I said before, take those interim periods between major points of action in the story to develop your characters with a random event, conversation, or maybe even a flashback (all of these things could be either humorous or serious). Comedy and drama are both as effective when it comes to character development. I think you’ll find that if the events that are happening are helping us get to know the characters better, it’s akin to the feeling of getting to know a lover—with every date that goes by, they become either more and more amiable, or more and more detestable; either way as long as you are creating intrigue, the audience will not be bored.

Avatar of Jared Charles Choate
Jared Charles Choate on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

Well, that’s actually making me feel a lot better about it. I am pretty sure I’ll still rewrite the script but I’m feeling a bit more hopeful with my abilities. Thanks!

Avatar of Nic Crocker
Nic Crocker on June 30, 2012 at 3:48 am

Write something completely out of left field, if its a love story, then have someone killed in a bank robbery, or better yet rob a bank! this does not have to be the way the story goes, just try it and you will b surprised how this gets your mind working and come up with some interesting ideas. But i sometimes like to just throw in the “were did that come from?” moments into some of my stories!

Avatar of Joseph M. Gayoso
Joseph M. Gayoso on August 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I agree with Mr. Crocker. Having moments in a story that seem random can stir up some emotion in the audience that could be geared towards how you want them to feel. I know that emotion can be a great platform for what it is you want your audience to grab. Going with what Mr. Ainsworth shared, you can use those “fillers” to slowly develop something. Just don’t let it go to waste. By the way, that’s a good idea you have there!

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