Who Wants What? Writing Your Scenes
January 18th, 2024
"Who wants what?" is a fundamental question that helps drive the narrative and character motivations for screenwriters when they sit dow to write. It's a concise way of summarizing the core element of conflict and desire in a scene. If you identify what you are trying to accomplish in each scene by identifying the characters' goals and the obstacles they face, you are gioing to write a more engaging and dramatic scene that helps to bind the narratice together. Answering this question helps establish tension, creates stakes, and engages the audience.
In essence, for a scene to be effective, it should clearly communicate:
- Identify what each character in the scene wants or is trying to achieve. This can be a specific objective, desire, or outcome.
Obstacles or Opposition:
- Highlight the obstacles, conflicts, or opposing forces that stand in the way of the characters' goals. This introduces tension and raises the stakes.
- Understand why characters want what they want. What drives their desires? This adds depth to the characters and helps the audience connect with their motivations.
By answering the "Who wants what?" question, you provide a strong foundation for building meaningful conflict, character development, and plot progression within each scene. This clarity contributes to the overall effectiveness and cohesiveness of your screenplay.
Next up: "What if they don't get what they want?"