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Can you Execute?

July 12, 2013

Often, I hear aspiring screenwriters ask, “Can I do this?”, “Will this work?” or “What approach should I take with this?” The truth of the matter is no one can answer these questions for you. Because here’s the truth: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. Whether or not it works, whether or not you took the right approach is ALL ABOUT THE EXECUTION. I repeat, you can do anything. If it’s executed well. And, that’s the crux. Figuring out how to execute in the best way is the act and art of screenwriting. It requires mulling, thinking, brewing, marinating, writing, re-writing, contemplating, second-guessing, questioning, re-writing, musing, wondering and processing (in no particular order).

The act and art of screenwriting is making all those choices – the ones I hear asked about all too often. You can ask questions and others can give ideas, but when it comes down to it, the writer is the sole person tasked to answer the questions. The screenwriter is the only one who can answer the questions, and it happens on the page, it happens in your head and vice versa, back and forth.

I understand the questions, I really do. But, there’s truly only one way to figure it out. That way: to do it. The only way to truly hone the craft of screenwriting is to write screenplays. After the fact, you need to honestly ask yourself, “Does this work?” And, that’s another learning process – figuring out how to know if it works. If it can be better (most times it can). What can be combined. What can be removed. What needs to be added.

So, the answer to all your screenwriting questions is: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, SO LONG AS YOU PULL IT OFF. Pulling it off is the hard part. It is your voice, your style, your approach to theme, story, character. How you pull it off is who you are as a writer. It defines you. No one else can give you that definition. You must define yourself. It’s a long, arduous process, but it is THE process of screenwriting.

Can you do it? Will it work? I don’t know. Can you? Will you? Will it work? It’s all in the execution.


From → The Process

One Comment
  1. Completely agree, you can do whatever you – if it works for you and other people understand it then brilliant. One idea which my script teachers give me all the time is that not everyone is going to like what you write, don’t worry too much about it and try as much as you like as its all great practice!

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