Best Tool for Breaking Story? Writers Guild Foundation 'Scribble to Screen' Suggests Pen & Paper
As we all know, apps and software abound to help screenwriters write their stories. If you’re in the market for Final Draft Writer for iPad or the desktop edition of Final Draft, both are on sale until the end of this month. If you’re breaking story for your next screenplay, as I currently am, you may find the apps and software getting in the way of your creativity. Instead, good ol’ pen and paper (or note cards) may be what you need to break that story. Along these lines, the Writers Guild Foundation has unveiled a very cool online exhibit, Scribble to Screen, that offers a unique glimpse into the writing evolution of some of the best-known films and television series, from handwritten notes and scrawled drafts to the final typed pages.
Check out the Writers Guild Foundation’s Scribble to Screen to discover:
- Lawrence Kasdan managing the Luke-Leia-Han emotional triangle in The Empire Strikes Back
- Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel progressing from note cards to handwritten draft to reach the revised draft of the opening to City Slickers
- Winnie Holzman creating her television series My So-Called Life from a short outline, fleshing out story points and emotional pivots along the way
- Matthew Weiner (creator, Mad Men) writing for The Sopranos, developing handwritten story ideas into story outlines before completing the script
- Eric Roth writing the outline for the adaptation of the opening sequence of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
This online exhibit reminds us of the simplicity and power of pen and paper when the kernel of an idea emerges, how we connect thoughts to previous ideas and how we develop nascent story structures. Put another way, drawing arrows between ideas and writing sideways up the margins still isn’t that easy to do on a computer or tablet. Unless it’s a tablet of paper.
Do you start with pen and paper? Or have you gone completely digital with your screenwriting process from start to finish? Share with us in the Comments.