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Daily Screenwriting Tips

Creating A Screenplay Concept

Every great screenplay begins with a story concept. For writers, it can often be a daunting task to create this concept. There's nothing more difficult than inventing conflict, characters, and action, and molding them into a beginning, middle, and end.

There is a working methodology you can use to find a story idea and shape it into a compelling plot. This methodology consists of three steps.

Step: 1. Read newspapers, magazines, and Internet news articles about
              everyday people who have survived traumatic events.

Step: 2. Choose a news article about an event that is similar to
              experiences from your own life. Search the article for instances in
              which two survivors of a traumatic event struggled with each
              other over a person, place, or thing. One of these people will be
              the protagonist (hero) in your script. The other person will be
              the antagonist (villain).

Step: 3. It may take a few days or even weeks to find a news article
              describing a traumatic event with two people who fit the roles of
              hero and villain. Research takes time and patience.

The next and final step of creating your story concept is to structure the real-life event you've read about into a beginning, middle, and end.


Unless your screenplay is based entirely on factual news articles, remember to fictionalize your story. This can be done by combining events from these articles with your own life experiences.

In the beginning of your story, the hero and villain meet each other and embark on a journey. This journey can be a plane trip, a business merger, an experimental medical treatment, a wedding, etc.

In the middle of your story, the hero and villain begin to compete with each other instead of cooperating with each other.

The end will be the confrontation and resolution in which only one of these characters survives or triumphs. During the three phases of your story, each character experiences conflict and the trauma that comes with it.

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