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How To Write Scripts From Real Life Stories
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Stories based on real life have a "pre-built" story and make some of the most compelling films around.
In one way this can make a screenwriters job easier, and in another, make it far harder.
First you should read, watch and research other real life stories that have been adapted into books, movies, or plays. Real life stories have a completely different feel to them vs. a fictional story.
Make sure you find the real life story of the main character personally interesting before agreeing to the project. If you are not personally moved and inspired by what this person went through, the script will not be the best it can be and your main characters story will not get the attention it deserves.
So you like the story, no wait, you love the story. Well then, write down the key points that make you love it.
The most important part is to interview, interview, interview! You need to interview as many people as possible who know (or knew) the main character of your story, specifically people that were involved in whatever aspect of that person's life you are writing about.
After you have completed your interviews you might find it extremely helpful to write a "character study" for each main character in the script. If you have a description of each character pinned on your idea board staring you in the face every day you will become more in tune with who each of these people are and you will be better able to portray them properly.
Next you need to outline your story. Normally a real life story is based on a particular event and/or certain time frame of the main characters life. Therefore you did not need to go into extreme detail about their life prior to this event and/or time unless it directly affects the story and/or outcome.
Certain parts of the lead characters past will need to be altered without damaging the foundation of the script in order to make it more captivating for the reader and/or viewer as well as turning a profit for all invested parties. You will have to use your creativity to slightly alter time lines, or to add more entertaining scenes.
Just as you did with the character studies, write down the most dramatic and moving parts of the main characters story. Start listing details that you want to ensure are included in each scene, along with other specific details. Once you get the biggest scenes out of the way the rest should just fill itself in.
Most importantly make sure to be true to yourself and true to the main character and their journey.
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