Always a source of great writing advice and inspiration, screenwriting coach Michael Hauge offers us this short nugget of wisdom on his site (www.screenplaymastery.com) that I’m sharing with you here.
Q: Can you describe some of the things writers need to think about in writing a salable story?
A: Since my entire career has been built on answering this question for writers and filmmakers, it’s pretty hard to reduce it to a single answer. But the best advice that comes to mind to cover all situations is to suggest that writers ask themselves three questions about every screenplay they write:
1. What is each character desperate to achieve?
2. What makes that goal seem impossible?
3. What terrifies each character?
Writers willing to dig deep enough to answer these questions are well on their way to a commercial screenplay. For much, much more, refer to my book Writing Screenplays That Sell or my CDs Screenwriting for Hollywood or The Hero’s 2 Journeys.
These seem like simple questions but I challenge each of you–new and experienced writers alike–to come up with solid, easily communicated answers for your current projects. If you can, consider yourself well on your way to creating a clear and compelling story. If you have some work to do, well, what are you waiting for?