I started writing. I also read every book on screenwriting I could get my hands on, finding Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat particularly helpful. With this idea of scripts as transformation machines, I carefully mapped out the journey of my protagonist, one beat at a time. It took far longer than I expected.
There are plenty of people out there (such as John August) who can sit down and write good scripts without having to outline extensively beforehand. I am not one of those people. Writing without a clear-as-day roadmap is, for me, like driving without headlights in the dark: there’s a chance I’ll get to my destination safely, but I’ll probably crash and feel terrified the whole time. One day, if I finish a few dozen features, my eyes may get accustomed to the dark. But, until then, I plot the crap out of everything.
This begins with The Idea.