From Fade In to Fade

It's important to decide what type of screenplay you plan to write and then layout the blueprint and the framework from Fade In to Fade Out. The opening and the ending are your parameters to follow so you won't turn a comedy into a tragedy half-way through your screenplay. When you write without a blueprint your screenplay doesn't have a solid structure.

You'll want to construct your basic structure and build your framework so your story won't collapse in the middle. How do you do this? You do this by knowing how your screenplay ends and then working backwards to find the opening for it. The "Fade In" that starts your script and the "Fade Out" that ends your script is your framework.

Knowing your ending gives you destination to follow and your characters a path to reach. Can you imagine trying to get from Los Angeles to Manhattan or Seattle without a road map? Well, that's what you do when you write without a blueprint. It's like taking a trip without a map—and leads nowhere except to a dead end. If you don't have a direction for your characters or you don't know how you're going to resolve your story, you will be heading for major detours and probably get lost along the way. Even if you change your ending over and over again, you at least need to have one when you begin your screenplay.

Once you have decided on your ending you then have a destination for all of your scenes that build up to the climax. There are many people who say they don't know the ending when they start to write and just let their characters take them where they want to go. Let me assure you these writers and their characters are heading for disaster.

Would you go to the airport and get on a plane without knowing your destination? You could end up in Russia or South America. Would you get on a ship and just let it go wherever the current took it? I hardly think so. You certainly would have your destination determined before you embarked for your trip.

Well, the same is true for writing your screenplay. You have to know where you want to go and what direction to follow, and every scene you write must lead to that destination.

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