Best Way to Outline/Write Beats for a Feature/Short Film?



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  • Best Way to Outline/Write Beats for a Feature/Short Film?

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    Last edited by MassRogue; 08-23-2013, 09:03 PM. Reason: question was answered

  • #2
    Re: Best Way to Outline/Write Beats for a Feature/Short Film?

    Could you be a bit more specific on what you're looking for? This question is pretty vague, which is probably one reason why you haven't gotten any responses yet.
    Chicks Who Script podcast


    • #3
      Re: Best Way to Outline/Write Beats for a 3-Act Feature/Short Film?

      Originally posted by MassRogue View Post
      I've received different input on this and there's a multitude of screenwriting books detailing different processes, so I'm wondering what the best Outlining/Beats are for a Feature or Short Film Script.
      In a span of 78 hours or so, you started these threads:
      1. Differences between Writing a Feature Film Script and a TV Pilot Script
      2. Structure/Beats of a Short Film (10-30 minutes)?
      3. Logline: Conviction (Sci-Fi Action-Thriller)
      4. Does the TrackingB File Exchange let you Read Sold Spec Scripts?
      5. How to Write an Effective Query Email?
      6. Best Way to get Contact Info of Agents,Managers, and Producers for Querying?
      7. What's more Effective: Query Letters or Query Emails?
      8. How to Write Action/Descriptions for an Action-Thriller?
      9. What To Title the Subject of Query Letter Emails?
      Four of those nine are about querying. And then now, you're asking how to outline. Though, apparently you've not yet settled on short or feature-length.

      I'm certainly not the DD police. You can post; people can answer. But FWIW - Dude/Dudette, maybe pick a lane and drive? I mean, they're fine questions, but are they really timely for you?

      Oh, and the Search function can be your friend, too.


      • #4
        Re: Best Way to Outline/Write Beats for a Feature/Short Film?

        There's no "best way- to outline, just the one that works best for you. My advice would be not to overplot your story with an outline that's too detailed, and keeping the outline flexible.

        Begin with a very simple outline with the main 5 or so plot points, and then start working your story out in a more detailed form, be it a prose treatment or scriptment or proper screenplay format. As you reach or discover new plot points, place them in you outline and see how they affect the overall design, in terms of pace, momentum and logic. Again, keep the outline flexible: if you find a better way to tell the story, a more interesting direction, do the necessary changes to the outline.

        Don't be a slave of your outline, let the writing guide the writing, and use the outline more as a tool to evaluate the story as a whole: balance, pace, character development, etc.