Tuesday was a creative rush, getting back in shape after the holidays with a day of writing exercises.We’ve been taught by Nikolaj Sherfig before, so introductions were not necessary – we just jumped right in and started writing. He had three exercises for us (actually more, but feedback took longer than expected, so…).
- Write an introduction scene with your protagonist where we see their strength and their weakness.
- Write a scene with your antagonist, same deal.
- Write a confrontation scene between you protagonist and antagonist.
I am continually impressed with how smart and talented my fellow master class students are, coming up with great scenes and amazing dialogue within a 30 minute writing exercise. While I felt my scenes were somewhat clich’ed – that’s what happens when you have to invent a scene from scratch in half an hour – they were both pretty well received. The third scene I just lifted out of the first draft I just finished a week ago. I had changed some things in the climax that I wanted to get feedback on, so I took advantage of the session, rather than write a new scene.
I studied at the School of Architecture many years ago, just across the street from where I now study screenwriting. It took me almost two years to finally understand how it worked. I guess all creative educations should be approached in the same fashion: Set your own agenda for what you want out of it, and make sure you get just that.
Now I just have to chase down my script consultant and make sure we schedule up a new meeting to make up for a couple of cancellations…