Causal Writing

As I said earlier, the biggest problem I have found with the beginning writer, and even with the most experienced professional, is that the writing is usually episodic. This means that the scenes don't relate to one another and the screenplay doesn't have the underlying story structure that sets off the story and keeps it moving until the resolution or end. From fade in to fade out your structure must not collapse in the middle or your entire script won't work.

The beginning of your story should relate to the end in a causal manner. What I mean is, there has to be a connection between the beginning scene right through to the final scene of your screenplay. If there is no connection then there is no structure, and you are only writing episodic writing. Episodic writing is not connected by a structure, and each scene usually has no relationship to the next one. In an anthology the stories aren't connected. In Arabian Nights, the stories are episodic and not connected to one another.

In a screenplay, all scenes must be connected to one another from the opening scene through to as many as fifty or more scenes. How can you learn to do this ? By planning your ending first and then working backwards to your opening. Your opening scene must lead to the next scene which motivates the following scene. Just as Toni Morrison wrote: "Always know the ending; that's where I start."

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