February 13, 2019 at 8:49AM


What order?

I'm doing research for my first feature-length screenplay and I'm not far from being ready to start writing the outline and treatment. However I'm not sure about character design (background story, charachteristic etc). Do you write that before or after the outline and treatment? I mean I kinda wanna do it before, so that I know more about the character, but on the other hand I don't really know what's gonna happen to him before I've written the outline. Would it be better to figure out the plot and scenes and then do character design before proceeding to writing the screenplay?


Don't bother with the outline, treatment and all that crap. Start writing and see where it gets you.

The ability to create a story of the length and complexity suitable for a feature film is inherent. You may have it or maybe you can create something fitting an episodic or a 30 sec. TV spot. You will discover it eventually.

Treatments, outlines, synopses are not for the writer. They are tools for a studio and if they know how to use, which in current times they increasingly do not, they can benefit from them. For the writer it just an excuse not to write the screenplay.

February 28, 2019 at 7:47PM

Misha Aranyshev
Film Editor

Thank you for your reply, Misha.
I think it'd be hard for me to write without a treatment. It's nice to have a miniature version of the story so you spot plot holes and can remove character's that aren't necessary etc instead of finding out while writing a 120 page screenplay. However I agree, it can easily become procrastination and of course you won't know all the story problems before you actually start writing the screenplay.
Have you written screenplays without outlining at all before? And if so, how much do you know about your story?

Emil F. Skanning

March 1, 2019 at 4:28AM

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