Yellow lines in the middle of a road surrounded by trees.

I am continuously looking out for what will benefit my goals for the future.

May 01, 2021

Road lines, speed limits and street signs. Oh my...

These are the structures of the traffic systems where most of us live. They get us from one place to another and are so effective, we often borrow that same language to describe how we navigate a journey through life. We learn what lines we will not cross, how long it takes to weigh the options and make a good decision, what warnings of danger look like to us. Ultimately, we try to understand what all of this means to the future we want a part in creating for ourselves. 

Consider this: A character’s journey through a screenplay needs to be just as meticulously mapped out as we strive for our lives to be. But, just like our lives, unexpected left turns can alter that path to our desired destination. Leave room for these moments in your writing, for they create unexpected conflict and obstacles in the narrative that serve character development well. Plan for them, enjoy them, then see how those twists and turns inform your own life.

Remember though, a signpost for one person or character may not have the same meaning to another. As your story develops, give your characters their own unique frame of reference. Give them a worldview that's perhaps different from you own and work to empathize with them. That empathy on the page can hold the power for others to feel seen and still others to understand them. Meaningful stories strive for this, but you can have more ease creating it by setting your intentions on the empathy required. Your characters deserve it and so do you.

Live aware of your own point of view and surroundings. Take note of the shifts as you make choices in life and seek to learn. As you do, give others compassion, take note of its result and write.

CREATIVITY CATALYST:  Inspiration can come at random moments, so value your ideas and write them down. Your subconscious mind will come up with some interesting ideas when you least expect them. Let your ideas purposefully wander the path you’re aiming for. Armed with these ideas, the blank page will be less intimidating and your screenplay more interesting.


Is your screenplay ready for feedback?

My screenwriting guidebook will help you find out.

The PDF is free. Click the link below.