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This week's question

Douglas, how do you know if your idea is good enough for a screenplay that will sell?

Wondering 


This week's Answer: 

A Good Idea to Have a Good Idea

Screenwriters pour so much of their energy, effort, time, and screenwriter's BS&T (blood, sweat, and tears) into a script, so it is a very good idea to have a very good idea (for your script). Why is it that so many of them scribe well-crafted scripts and never find the marketplace or reach the Green Light Holy Grail that Knights of the Computer's Table seek for all the glory.  (Sorry. I recently watched an epsiode of "Game of Thrones".)

The answer:  They don't ask the hard questions before they start writing.  One of the hardest of the questions that many writers tend to avoid like the plague is "Is my script different?" Is my screenplay something that nobody has seen before?  And, if you say your script is different, then you can follow with "How much more different?" and "How is my screenplay different"?

And it's best to ask the same thing about your characters, your hero especially: "How is my protagonist different?" Original.  One of a kind.  Unique. These hard questions you must ask before building your story isn't just about clever plot twists, setups and payoffs, reversals, etc. This is about the very core -- the essential essence -- the heart of your story. You must ask in the very beginning, no matter how bright and brilliant your script idea came to you in that moment of rapture when the world stopped for a moment and you knew you now had the unbelievably fantastic  idea for your screenplay, yes, you must ask yourself... 

"Have I already seen this?"

And if you haven't and you're still in love with idea and just know it's original and can make a great movie, if it's that good, then it's one of these two things:  either somebody has already used it in a movie or... somebody somewhere is working on a script with that idea. 

So, once you've done your research and you know, as far as you can tell, that there is no movie like yours... then, what are you waiting for?

Stop reading this and start writing.

Doug Herman

Script Advisor

 

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