How much time do you all spend outlining stories, scripts or novels? Is it an extensive process that you sometimes feel hampers your ability to dive into the story and tell it authentically? Or does it really provide a valuable roadmap?
When it comes to outlining plays–as I’m primarily a playwright–I find sometimes it’s been game-changing and makes the writing process so much easier; other times, I lose interest and move onto another project where I just want to “get them talking” as soon as possible.
I wanted to share an excerpt from a book I’ve been reading on outlining film scripts, titled Write Treatments to Sell.
“Outlines/treatments should feel like pictures rushing together to form a story in which you can see the characters and hear them speak. A treatment should never read like a synopsis, like dull beats of a plot moving forward, trudging toward a predictable outcome. When you’re reading the pages, however simple, the thrill of the story must be captured. And how do you do that? You forget that you’re writing a treatment and tell the story like a classic around-the-campfire cliffhanger–as if every event happened before your very eyes and you can’t wait to share it.”