Whatever the goal of your script, remember that you are trying to make people feel something. Keep in mind that emotions take time. Your characters are going to change during your story; give us space on the page to feel along with them. If you try to pack seven emotional reversals in a short speech, you’re likely to shake us off. Let new emotions sink in, and once we’re with you, take that seriously. If you’re drowning cute animals and you get us all bummed out, don’t expect us to be laughing at your jokes two lines later.
Daniel Heath’s 5 TIPS FOR DIALOGUE THAT MAKES STRONG MEN WEEP
If you’re anything like me, you put a lot of pressure on yourself as a writer. With every new screenplay, your hopes and expectations are sky-high. You want your finished script to crackle with wit, thrill with energy and sparkle with originality. Most of all, you just hope it doesn’t suck.
Well, don’t sweat it. Because the truth, is you don’t need flashy prose and elaborate set-pieces to craft a good screenplay. What you need is a kick-ass protagonist.
I’ve read a lot of not-so-good screenplays, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: they all fail in exactly the same way. ‘The hero’s emotional journey didn’t map to her external journey through the plot’. ‘The minor characters were more interesting than the lead’. ‘The protagonist’s goals and motivations were unclear’. There are a hundred ways to say it, but they all boil down to this: your main character did not kick enough ass.
How to Write a Kick-Ass Protagonist by Xander Bennett
There are times when writing is an uphill march (barefoot, with snow and wolves). There are times when we have to write something, fail, come back, do it again, fail, come back, do it again, until we’ve got it right.
Now is not that time.
We have only got one month to write a script. We need to write downhill. We need to steer around obstacles, not through them.