The Great Idea
“I have a great idea for a screenplay.”
I have heard this often, and it is often true. As the owner and lead writer of Screenwriters for Hire (https://ScreenwritersForHire.Com/), I’m often approached with what some consider the perfect offer. They will supply this wonderful idea, and all I have to do is write the script. In other words, they have a concept for a story. It is usually a sentence or two, maybe a paragraph. But it is far from a story and even further from a script. Many writers are offered a great idea from a friend, family member, or a complete stranger who somehow learned that the person is a writer. “All you have to do is write it, and we can share the credit,” the offer goes. Great concepts are easy to find, and that is all well and good, but it is merely a starting point – like the seed of a California Redwood. But without all the right ingredients, it will not grow. As a screenwriter for hire, my team and I turn those ideas into a completed screenplay.
The reality is that every at least semi-serious screenwriter has a computer hard drive, a file folder, or a notebook filled with concepts. In fact, writers often gather and brainstorm ideas for stories. They throw around potential thoughts, form them into loglines, and even propose a paragraph or two of how the story might flow. It is called “riffing” and a good scriptwriter has a plethora of riffs just waiting develop. Therefore, if you want your idea to be more, you will have to do the work to turn it into a marketable screenplay.
Ah, but you never thought about doing it on your own before because you have no idea where to start. In fact, you do not even have the software to write a screenplay. Good news, and more to come: you do have the tools to shape an idea. The screenwriter just needs a pen and pad, imagination, time, and an understanding of screenplay structure. Or you might have my preferred method, a computer and word-processing software. And after reading this tutorial, you will then have the knowledge. At the same time, even the best screenwriters (especially the best) understand the value of collaborating with other screenwriters to improve their draft.