Paws and Prose: An Early Christmas

Some of you know that I am an aspiring screenwriter, this Christmas, I’ve received the best screenwriting gift: Final Draft. It’s the industry standard and as my independent study this year is to write and complete a ninety-page script, well this software is going to be a miracle worker.

My dad has given me my Christmas gift early so that I can use it for my uni work and play around with some scripts. Already, I have one scene written and am just naming some characters.

My first script? Set in a Birmingham Chandlery during the industrial revolution. I have an idea of the plot already. The poor candlemaker loses everything and his son tries his hardest to save them. I’m really excited.

I haven’t played with it much yet, I’ve been getting my Prose coursework out of the way first, but I can tell you what I know about it so far.

It’s the first software I’ve used that displays a beat-board and story map. I’ve been reading about beats in a lot of screenwriting books and as far as I can make out, it is how a story is structured. Essentially it allows me to view the structure of my story and check that everything in my script runs smoothly.

I haven’t tried the story map out yet, but I think it does something similar that enables me to view my script as a whole or to plan or something.

I’m also a huge fan of index cards—I have hundreds of them scattered across my bedroom floor at uni and a stack at home. Final Draft has index cards that I can colour code, so I’ll be able to transfer some of my paper ones to the digital as I write my script. It’s great.

It also allows me to highlight characters names to see how long they’ve disappeared for, look at their arc and whatnot… I’m a huge believer in developing characters, I think they are just as important as the plot themselves. It has a revision mode too that I’m dying to try out.

I can’t wait. I’m going to aim to write 5 pages minimum every weekday until I start uni again- so by the 29th Jan I should have 150 pages of screenplays. Wish me luck.

Subscribe and I’ll keep you all updated on how it’s going.


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