I’ve recently made my foray into screenwriting.
I was invited to team up with a cross-discipline creative and kick-ass director to help tell captivating visual stories.
Since we’re dealing with 60-seconds clips, a recurring phrase has been “economy of words.” The basic definition: conveying your point in as few words as possible, telling a powerful story in a matter of seconds.
That is not my usual territory. I generally sail along my stream of consciousness, trailing endless ripples of poetic introspection. Causal, everyday dialogue is a challenge for my wandering mind.
I have an obsessive, life-long love affair with words and analogies. I have a driving passion to inject my poetic strings with potent words and poignant emotions. And it seems that the more I write, the more inclined I am towards loquacity.
I’m looking forward to the challenge of snipping away the excess and telling meaningful stories within the ever-shinking attention span of the online reader.
I’ve thus far worked on two scripts. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Concision is king. Say what absolutely needs to be said and nothing more.
- It’s not about the words, it’s about what the scene conveys. The pauses, eye-rolls, and pop culture references are just as valuable as the clever and articulate lines.
- Things won’t always go as planned. Actors may bail, have their own ideas, or get tongue-tied. Last minute improvisations are a part of the plan.
- Collaboration is like a potluck. Bring your best elements to the table and respect what others serve. Offer suggestions and be willing to sideline your contribution for the sake of creating the most delicious and complementary meal possible.
I love my deep and lengthy explorations because each serves as a personal journey and, I like to think, a relatable reflection of human experience for others to connect with. However, I’m beginning to recognize the value of getting to the point, especially in modern society. We all feel rushed, and we continually prioritize accomplishing a dozen small tasks over savoring the experience of temporary immersion in one exceedingly worthwhile experience. I get it. I’m guilty of this, too.
That being said, I’m going to begin to use this space as a platform on which to explore the economy of words. To share with you content that matter, within a context that does not waste your precious time. To present the heart of a concept only after paring away the intricate sutures. And to explore the optimal balance between logophilia and lexical economy.