The 12 Steps of Improvisational Screenplay Writing

Step 1. Write “FADE IN”

Step 2. Write a location, starting with “INT.” or “EXT.”

Step 3. Write a time of day after your location

Step 4. In two lines, write a description of that location as you see it in your mind’s eye

Step 5. Write down the name of a character.

Step 6. In a line, write a description of that character.

Step 7. In a line or two, write a description of what that character is doing at the location.

Step 8. Write the name of something with which that character is interacting, be it a person, object or something more ephemeral.

Step 9. In a line, write a description of that thing with which the character is interacting.

Step 10. In the middle of the page, write the name of your first character.

Step 11. Below that name, write an emotionally charged statement that this character says about the thing with which he or she is interacting, the nature of the interaction, or a total non-sequitur to confuse the hell out of people.

Step 12. In writing, rationalize these choices for the next 95 pages.

(I never said I’d help you make a movie, just a screenplay)

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