Feeling like you need to flex those creative muscles a bit to get them in shape for your next script? Friend of the blog Eric Heisserer has just released a Kindle book called "150 Screenwriting Challenges." You might remember Eric as the screenwriter of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET reboot, FINAL DESTINATION 5 and THE THING reboot. He also penned one of the most popular posts on my blog - an inside look at the path a screenplay takes through the development process.
These challenges began life as Twitter exercises Eric devised to sharpen writing skills. A sample assignment:
Take a talky scene of yours and rewrite it so that no character speaks more than ten words total. If you want, you can instead borrow a talky scene from a movie or TV series. The point is to discover the bare essentials that must be said.
And then this one:
Write a monologue by a prophet whose prediction of a major event didn't come true. This is the "day after" speech. How characters deal with shame, guilt, and betrayal through their own words is a crucial key to knowing how they will speak on more mundane topics. Are they confessional? Are they snide and vindictive, in search of a scapegoat? Are they in denial?
Eric's come up with a variety assignments that end up being a unique way to explore many of the fundamentals of screenwriting. A lot of them actually remind me of some assignments from my screenwriting classes.
As of the time I'm writing this (10:45pm PST), 150 Screenwriting Challenges is listed as the #1 Best Seller in Screenwriting on Amazon, besting even Save the Cat!
It's only $4.99 so pick it up if you get a chance.