Today’s Writing Protip comes from the excellent screenwriting blog “Go Into The Story” by Scott Myers.
Scott is a strong advocate of reading screenplays to help you hone your own writing craft. In a thorough 7 part series, Scott goes through all the intimate details of giving a screenplay a good close read. Here’s some tidbits to get you started:
“Sit down and read the script. Personally I like to turn off my analytical mind as much as possible and simply read the story for what it is. Obviously if I have thoughts and observations, I don’t chase them away. Rather I quickly jot them down, then move on.
The main point of a first pass is to read it straight-through in one sitting, trying as much as possible to stay within the story universe. Save the analysis for later.
If you really want to read a script in order to analyze it, you have to shut everything else down. I know, I know, how can you possibly give yourself permission to set aside 90 minutes or so to read a script with no breaks, no interruptions, no distractions, just you and the story?
Let me put it to you this way: Are you serious about learning the craft? If you are, then you will find the strength of will to shut everything down when you read and engage a script. If you aren’t, well… go ahead and answer you email.
In order for stories to reveal themselves to us requires a mindfulness on our part. We have to be here now in order to enter fully into a story universe, muck around in there, break things apart, and explore the vital parts of the whole. Indeed this is great training for us and our writing because it requires the same immersion and intensity as sitting down to write.”
Read the rest over at The Black List