Screenwriting: The Evolution of A Story

It’s interesting to me how much a story can evolve over time.  Not even so much from concept to screen, but from concept to page.  Honestly, I find the story taking me down unexpected roads even as I’m writing down a break down for the rest of Part 2, and the whole of Part 3.

These new roads and alleys that I’m traversing are not unwelcome side trips, per se, but definitely unexpected.  Still, if there is one thing I learned from the J.K. Rowling “controversy” (and I use this term extremely lightly) regarding the romantic fate of Hermione Granger, it’s that you should let the story take you where it needs to go, instead of falling so in love w/ the original concept, that you end up pigeonholing yourself, your character, your plot, etc.

I had such a defined, clear cut idea when I planned this story out last semester.  I knew what it was going to be about, all the twists and turns it would take, what I wanted, etc.  Still, the more time I had to sit on it–and only sit on it, as I had nothing on hand with which to jot things down over winter holiday–the more time I had to think on all the plot holes, and let the story take me into the land of What Ifs.

This, in the end, was the best thing I could have done for myself, and my story.  These What Ifs led to Hows, Whys, and eventually, Why Nots.  I still have my What If moments, but they are considerably more focused now, and are easier to track into their inevitable Hows and Whys.  Perhaps this is a result of knowing my characters, or where my story is going.  Perhaps it is because my brain is rewarding me for going with the flow of things.  Either way, it’s working, so I’m not about to question the Madness of the Method.

Though I, admittedly, had a bit of a Kermit Flail yesterday, it was more born of general anxiety inherent in creative endeavors than it was true doubt about my commitment, or my inability to get this done.

That being said, I hope my brain knows that that sort of thing isn’t at all helpful, so let’s just have some tea and get on with things, shall we?

Lessons for today:

Let your story as you’re WRITING it, not as you’ve PLANNED it, be your guide.

Tea and plenty of protein make for a happier brain, and a less stressed me.

Don’t be afraid of imperfect. Imperfect can be tweaked to work well.  Imperfect can be interesting.  Perfection is a fallacy with the sole purpose of giving people seeking it anxiety attacks.



2 thoughts on “Screenwriting: The Evolution of A Story

  1. I find this is virtually always the case, it’s very hard to sit down and follow a plan / train of ideas when at the very same time of writing a whole bunch of ideas spring up! More often and not, for me, I end up going round in circles lol

  2. I try and reign in the more circular logic, or else I end up losing sight of where I was going. LOL. Still, I get what you mean. I don’t want to become so devoted to a certain outcome that I blind myself to a possibility that is ultimately more rewarding for the characters, the audience, and myself as a writer.

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