- The process begins with a killer idea. Not just a good one, or a solid one, but one that’s so strong that you can pitch it in a sentence or less and people will “get” it.
- Get the idea down on paper in the form of a logline. I find this to be the easiest way to “kick the tires” and confirm whether or not it really has the legs to make it all the way to feature length.
- Flesh out the logline into what I call your five “story nodes.” These form the framework of your structure, and, if mapped out visually, allow you to push beyond the typically linear arrangement of most outlines. Imagine the system as five small “planets,” each with their own “moons” (i.e. scenes & characters), with lines connecting the various elements to form plot, sub-plot(s), themes, callbacks, etc.
- Begin the narrative treatment of your idea. It’s better to keep this as broad as possible so that your potential employer is able to fill in any holes in as generous a manner as they can. Don’t include specific lines of dialogue at this stage.
Via Brad Wilke
This article is the third installment in a series on writing treatments. Previously: