Darabont on Screenwriting



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  • #46
    Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

    To outline or to not outline. As has been repeatedly repeated above, do what works. It also depends on your personal definition of "outline".

    With my first script, I had a one pager that had scribbling all over it that I used to keep straight two storylines that alternated non-linearly. And I came up with that halfway through the first draft because it was too complicated to keep in my head. It got the job done.

    With my second script, I wrote the first act without an outline, but then I hit act 2, and I had to pull out those dang index cards. I had a stack like 2 inches high, kept in the order I wanted. It would have svcked if I had dropped those.

    One thing is always the same for me it seems. I always know the beginning and the end before I start writing. I have a generally vague understanding of what happens in the middle. The outline helps me figure that part out. Otherwise I would be forever stuck in that netherworld between act 1 and 2.

    But that's just me. Do one thing. If that doesn't work, try something else. And one person's idea of an outline may not come close to resembling someone else's. The outline is just a writer's tool he or she keeps in the tool box to pull out if the job requires it. The point is: just get it done.

    "We're all immigrants now, man."
    - Zia (Patrick Fugit), "Wristcutters: A Love Story"


    • #47
      Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

      Originally posted by RBoss
      So it's not just me. Phew!
      Not by a long shot. I marvel at people who say they just 'start writing' and 'see where it takes them'. I can't do that. Once I see a story take form I have to stop and figure it out.


      • #48
        Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

        It's definitely true that whatever works for you do it. But in my case, I used to do things like that, but always ended up with a lot of stuff that you may not necessarily need or go off your points entirely.
        I now do map out main points of my stories. The fun part of it-is show everyone who you got from point A to B.


        • #49
          Re: Darabont on Screenwriting


          Would I enter the Amazon jungle without a jungle map? Would I cross a river down there without first testing for red-bellied piranhas? Would I start a script without an outline?

          No - three times!

          To me an outline is more than a road map. It's the first bit of research I come up with, my first view at the big picture, my first involvement with the main characters and the plot, and my first shot at deciding whether the story is worth pursuing.

          Outlines can be visual and as short as hell - like "Are you talking to me?" There's so much meaning behind this dialogue line, I personally consider it an outline. I wonder if De Niro's Travis (in TAXI DRIVER) does too?


          • #50
            Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

            all the lines in all the movies in all the world, and peakbeach picks what as an example of a single line so full of meaning that it works as an "outline" for a movie? a robert deniro ad-lib. just brilliant.
            "Though he is a person to whom things do not happen, perhaps they may when he is on the other side."
            -- Edward Gorey, The Unstrung Harp


            • #51
              Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

              What goes on in De Niro's mind is what goes on in TAXI DRIVER.

              Years ago I was standing in a line that went around the block in Westwood for the opening of a hit movie. The line was not moving yet, and it wouldn't for the next hour or so.

              Sitting on the street pavement facing the line (an area blocked from moving cars by city ordinance) was a visibly distressed hobo, 30's, black, stealing our attention. Mainly because he kept saying in a painful, loud but unassuming voice, "I'll beat you in the middle of the street!"

              He must have said it a thousand times by the time the line began to move and none of us felt the need to tell him to shut up. Somehow, I believe, we understood his suffering... his story.
              Last edited by peakbeach; 06-27-2005, 11:06 AM.