I went home that afternoon and sat in my room listening to music staring at a blank piece of paper for a few minutes and then all of the sudden something magical happened I got an idea and then another and another and I started writing and just before dinner that night I finished my writing assignment the story was about a knight who had to save the Princess from the evil Knight from another kingdom it was a one page assignment and I went into class the next day with 5 pages written.
As I handed in my paper he said to me "You found your story, good job I can't wait to read it" . We came back to school on Monday and he asked me to come to his class room during lunch of course I instantly thought the worst so I went to his class and he started peppering me with questions about the story like "What happens to the knight after he saves the Princess?" " What becomes of the fallen knight?" to which I replied "I don't know sir." He asked if I had thought about writing a second story to answer these questions and honestly I hadn't, he told me I should continue the story during the next writing assignment so I did and I wrote about the Knight and his Princess all year in a continuing story, I wish I had kept those papers .
In horror it's alittle different of course you have a protagonist and and antagonist and a cast of characters who are basically there to get murdered one by one until it's down to the protagonist coming face to face with the antagonist in the final showdown .
Think about any genre of film the stories are basically the same structure with varying parts that have the ability to change from genre to genre . I'm going to tell you how my creative process works from the outline stage of the writing process, Here we go .
* Create Your Antagonist, their story & their motive even if you don't use it all in the movie you have it to reference if you need it.
* Create your Protagonist / Final Girl, her story and everything you can think of that you may need to know about her just like the Antagonist you'll have all this info to use if you need it.
* Next create your supporting characters, their stories and who they are if it helps use the stereotypical roles you see in all the early Friday The 13th films .
* Create the world the movie takes place in .
* Write all the kills in as much detail as you can .
* Fill in the story around the deaths and Bickity bam you have a script .
* When you're in the outline process write the dialog in your outline I find it very helpful in creating the story.
This is how I've written all of my scripts and it works for me, it might not work for anyone else but it works for me. Another piece of advice I give freely is to seek out other writers and ask them questions if you don't know something there are alot of writers on twitter who are willing to help people like us . Todd Farmer who wrote the My Bloody Valentine remake as well as Jason X was very helpful to me on twiiter when I was writing my first horror screenplay Wicked Carnival . Every time I tweeted him with a question about writing or how something should look in script form he always answered the question and offered extra advice as well.
I have stated many times that I hate Outlines and rewrites with a passion but recently I have come to actually enjoy the writing of a outline because I learn so muych about my characters by writing an outline and I learn about my story and if there are places that need alittle something extra .
Before you all start to flood my email with things like "Fans don't want basic storytelling, we want better storytelling" I will say this no matter how fancy the stuff you see on the screen is, it's done with basic storytelling . Don't get me wrong the visuals in a movie are just as important as the dialog and the story I'm saying you can create amazing movies using the most basic storytelling .
Star Wars is one of the most successful franchises of all time and it's story is very basic . The Light side of the force against the dark side of the force good vs evil some people call it the most religious movie to never mention God or the Devil in it. (Okay, maybe That's just me)
I love the Star Wars Saga (Yes all 7 films) while some die hard fans of the saga feel that episodes I - III damaged the brilliance of the original saga (Episodes IV - VI) I disagree with them completely because you NEED Episodes I - III to explain why Anikin Skywalker made the choice to turn to the dark side and become Darth Vader . He was trying to save his young wife and their unborn child that's a noble act if you think about it and in the end he renounces the dark side and kills the Sidious to save his son so the bad guy becomes the good guy in the end and thus is given a Jedi Funeral (I had a Jedi Funeral for my brother)
Look at Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens it's very much like Episode IV A New Hope and that is basic storytelling with alittle bit of flash and flare thrown in for dramatic effect , a Brilliantly written screenplay for sure .
Lord Of The Rings is basic storytelling as well and they are hugely successful films . Have you noticed the films I've talked about have been trilogies ? I think the trilogy is an amazing tool in the movie making world because of you decide at the start of a project that it will be a trilogy then you know you have a beginning, middle and ending already and you don't run the risk of making too many sequels to your movies like so many of the horror franchises of the 80's .
So for any writers out there who struggle with story and structure remember K.I.S.S. add little spots of flash and flare into the story where you can but don't force it. when I write a death scene I'm very guilty of being as basic as I can be with it and the magic usually happens on set when Chris Fyfe will say to me "What you wrote works but if we add this, this and this it will be that much better" and except for one or two times I've agreed with him and he's usually right .
Work in your own way but remember to Keep It Simple Stupid and you will be fine you can always expand on an idea in the writing process and if there is an idea I want to write more about I will usually make a "Writer's Note" in italics in the outline so I know I want to write more details or whatever .
I look at the outline process as the basic telling of all the parts of your story to build the finished story, if you have to make side notes to make the story better then so be it, I could be wrong but who knows .
In closing I want to say that if you want to write stories, books, comics or even screenplays but you never went to school for it or took a creative writing course you don't need to because you learned to write in English class all through school so you have some education in the subject so you have had some form of formal training in a sense and there are resources online to learn 3 act structure as well as the eight sequences of storytelling that's how I learned about them, online with the Google search bar plus if you watch enough movies you learn the 3 act structure and the eight elements pretty quick so if you want to write take a gamble and write something you never know what will happen if you don't try .
STAY HUMBLE, STAY HUNGRY MY FRIENDS :)