Screenwriting : Same destination, different route by Paul Zeidman

Paul Zeidman

Same destination, different route

A writer may know what they want to happen in their script, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. The characters might unexpectedly guide you in a different direction, or maybe you realize what the story really needs is to take a sharp turn off to the side, or you decide that this is the perfect opportunity to go in a totally opposite direction.

Nothing is set in stone. You're the ultimate creator. Everything that happens is under your control, and you can do with it what you will.

Something not working for you? Change it. Give yourself options.

Follow-up to that - go with options that still work within the context of the story and characters. Your characters still want the same thing they did before, but now you've drastically altered how they get there.

It's a savvy writer who eagerly anticipates taking on the task of devising these kinds of changes. And once they're all implemented, you'll barely remember how it used to be because EVERYTHING WORKS SO MUCH BETTER NOW.

Suggestion - no matter how or when you come up with a new idea, WRITE IT DOWN. IMMEDIATELY. Even if you're in the middle of working on the same script. Everybody says "Oh, I'll remember that later."

You won't.

Do whatever you have to in order to preserve it.

David Downes

Paul Zeidman "WRITE IT DOWN. IMMEDIATELY." - You are so right! Burned me more than once.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

I actually do the opposite. I don't write it down immediately. I wait, I think on it, and if I remember it I treat it as an idea that I genuinely am excited about, and if I forget about it I don't feel like I had memory loss I just feel like it wasn't something I was excited about writing. I did try the other method prior, where I wrote tons of ideas down. I would go back and read them and think, "This was not a good idea." a genuine 100% of the time. So I'd say, do what works for you :)

Michael L. Burris

I once threw out so many parallel lines my story forgot to curve. It was total anarchy and all I relly wanted was an archy.

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