#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: Big Finish
Writing Advice Wednesday
As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’ll be giving you writing exercises that might help kickstart your writinig process. It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.
This week, it’s time to take put an end to things…
Describe how favorite films finished.
Remember two or three of your all-time favorite films. How did they end? What happened? What was at risk? Who was chasing whom? Why? What was the action like? What happened in the climax? What was the final resolution?
From memory jot down the ending, step-by-step, of two or three films you really enjoyed. Write as quickly as possible and with as much detail as possible.
Now, look at each of those films. Stop and start the last 15 to 20 minutes of each film as you study it carefully.
Write down step-by-step exactly what happened in the final 15 to 20 minutes of each story.
Did the action in the ending of each film match your memory of it? Where did your memory and the actual film differ?
Stop and start the film as you make a list of each action, reaction, and consequence.
How is each scene in the film a chase scene? Who wants what in each scene? Who is blocking whom? How are the characters’ values in conflict in each scene?
What did you learn? How are the endings of the various films similar? How are they different? What makes these endings exciting, thrilling, surprising or suspenseful?
How are the stakes raised at the end of each film? What makes each ending memorable?
How is the character at risk emotionally, physically, spiritually or financially? What is the final sacrifice made? What price does the main character pay? How is the ending resolved quickly?
Now, look at the ending of your screenplay. Can you apply any of the lessons? How can you make your ending more vivid and alive?
Can you raise the stakes? Can you make your main character struggle harder? Can you make the obstacles more interesting and unexpected?
Are there possible alternative endings to your story? Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore. Nothing is set in stone right now.
Give yourself the freedom to change your mind or to try something that leads you in a new direction.
Do some additional stream of consciousness writing about the end of your film.
Video Essay of the Week
Patrick Willems loves his favorite film for a unique reason- it’s about nothing!
Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, it’s time to finish your outline!
Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!