This is mainly for script writers but you know, if it helps anyone else, go for it. By the way, I know the prevailing wisdom in blogging is to write and write without giving away the tip you’ve teased about until like the fourth paragraph in and then just marginally. There’s obviously a decent strategy there and nothing against that style but because that bugs me when I’m on the receiving end, I’m not going to do that here.
So I have found when I cast a character, it helps when I’m writing whether while breaking the story or in the script. But that’s a no-brainer. Many of us do that when we’re writing. But my cast is like the New York Times Book Review question of If you could invite any writer to dinner, dead or alive, who would be at your table? (my answers change so frequently it’s ridiculous and yes, I answer it. The Proust Questionnaire in Vanity Fair is my favorite. Today, my least favorite quality in a woman is jealousy, just FYI). Anyway…
My suggestion is to ask you that same question but the table is your screenplay so…
Who’s going to be in your movie, dead or alive?
In a recent thing I was working on, I said to my partner, Well, he’s like Dom Delouise, circa when he and Burt Reynolds were making movies. In another project (solo) I was like John Candy. Definitely John Candy. Late 80’s. I don’t just love chubby geniuses, or do I? You could do a hell of a lot worse.
Point is, let your imagination run wild. Despite all cynicism and realism about “this business” and “It’s so hard to sell anything…” blah blah blah meh, this makes it real in the moment I’m writing - colorful and vibrant and it honors all the greats, current or past, who’ve inspired me and well, you know, simply put, it’s fucking fun.
Just a teensy trick that’s really joyous and why the hell not? Too often people complain to me about writing. How it’s painful, arduous, so blank-page-angsty. Etcetera. Etcetera. So make it a little less painful. There are things to do. I got a whole bag of tricks to
Writer, Writing Coach, Writer Supporter.