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Aaron Trinidad of Machiavelli Hangman, invites you to reprint this article in your publication, ezine, or on your website.

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    Writing Good Screenplays (Part Two)
    Copyright © 2005, Aaron Trinidad

    Last week we reviewed the three basic elements to apply in order 
    to become a successful screenwriter. The first was discipline 
    which revolved mainly around sitting down everyday for an hour or 
    less and write anything. Research has shown that a habit is 
    picked up or broken after 21 days of repetition. With that in 
    mind, if you do this for 21 days straight, you will notice that 
    it will become second-nature to sit everyday and write. This may 
    become more of a therapeutic hobby than actual screenwriting, but 
    it will sharpen your word tools and writing flow. The second 
    homework was observation. Listen, watch, touch, taste… let all 
    your senses go wild and you will become an audience member and 
    life will be a great movie for you to simply copy word by word 
    and turn it into riveting screen material. The third element in 
    become a good screenwriter was to understand that all human 
    beings go through the same lives with minor variations and a 
    story that would touch you would touch everyone else.
    The mistake that many writers make is they write let’s say a 
    scene that is suppose to be moving. If they read it, they 
    wouldn’t necessarily be touched, but they feel that all the 
    elements of "touching scenes" are there, so it should work. 
    That’s wrong thinking. If the writer replays the written scene in 
    his head and he feels unmoved, then other readers will be 
    oblivious to it as well. You could ask me, what if I had a pet 
    whose name was Tom and he died in a tragic hit and run accident, 
    and every time I watch Tom and Jerry, it brings a tear to my eye. 
    Showing a character sitting on a sofa watching Tom and Jerry and 
    crying his eyes out would not make any sense to anyone else. 
    However, if you also show that the character’s pet died and a few 
    scenes later, show the T&J scene, I guarantee that it’ll pull a 
    few heart strings.
    What if you surround yourself with the same types of people? What 
    if they all look the same, use the same vocabulary, act alike… 
    that wouldn’t leave you much room for material would it? Before 
    jumping to the easy fix of "start hanging out with different 
    groups," I would like to encourage you to increase your 
    observation skills. While a lot of people act the same way in 
    public, if you observe more closely you will notice little 
    personality traits that slip that distinguishes every person. 
    While we may all have the same emotional makeup, we experience 
    fear, sadness, joy, anger on different levels and we physically 
    those emotions differently. It’s those physical or business that 
    you have to connect. If a person twitches, you have to find the 
    source of the twitch. Perhaps he twitches out of fear or 
    nervousness; perhaps it’s the tingling feelings of joy that run 
    jitters through his body. 
    If you watch a film like Shervin Youssefian’s Machiavelli Hangman 
    or Paul Haggis’s Crash, you will notice that the characters 
    display the same emotions but while one person may be silent 
    when he’s angry, the other screams and yells. If you concentrate 
    on physicalities and inner emotions and you find where those two 
    meet, you will be golden! 

    Writer's Resource Box:
    Aaron Trinidad has worked as a writer 
    on various TV sitcoms, he's currently 
    taking a class in screenwriting in 
    New York. - Machiavelli Hangman: 

    More Articles Written by Aaron Trinidad

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