My standard technique for approaching story has been pretty static since I studied in private workshop with Syd Field years ago, although was honed at AFI: start with the six beats, write a synopsis, card out my story, create the beat sheet, and then write the script based on my beat sheet.
Now that I’ve written more, I’m finding that different types of stories would benefit from employing different techniques. I think it will benefit me in the long run to have a variety of tools in my writer toolbox to employ, and now that I have the time and energy, I’m going to experiment with several approaches to story and see what helps.
I’ve been drafting a paranormal thriller, and I feel that with this particular story, it would really benefit from not writing expressly to the major beats, but in writing to the eight sequences. I think in this case if I were able to break each sequence down, it would help me manage the stakes more closely, and then within each 10-15 page segment of the script, I can track exactly what the stakes are and how the protagonist is going to respond to those obstacles. Then, in laying out each sequence, I can see if in total the sequences are building to something that is overall thrilling and scary.
I’m not used to writing using the eight sequences, but I do think it would really help my story, and in the next draft, I’m going to work that method.
Anything to help my little story get better.