6 Ways to Showcase Authenticity as a Screenwriter

Sep 12, 2023

It is very important to showcase authenticity as a screenwriter. Fostering a unique voice is crucial as it is what sets you apart from the crowd in the global pool of talents. Think of iconic screenwriting figures like Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Kemi Adesoye (The Figurine), and Xavier Ighorodje (Shanty Town); what do they all have in common? Their works shine with undeniable genuineness and originality.

If you aspire to stand out among the multitude, you must showcase authenticity as a screenwriter. In this article, we go over some tips to help you achieve this unique voice.

 

1. Draw Inspiration from Real-Life Events

A common meme among screenwriters humorously states, “Anything you say to me is liable to be used in my screenplay because I am a writer.” While friends and family may find this habit occasionally vexing, it’s a tool many writers employ to infuse authenticity into their stories.

Every individual you encounter possesses a unique perspective on the world and distinctive approaches to life’s challenges. As a writer, seize the opportunity to create convincing characters by drawing inspiration from genuine conversations and real-life experiences.

 

2. Analyze Classic Films with a Critical Eye

Never watch a movie passively as a mere fan when you’re a writer. Instead, approach films with a discerning gaze, especially those that have earned accolades or critical acclaim. While viewing, envision the script that underpins the scenes, and contemplate how actors bring the written words to life through their performances.

Pay attention to intricate details; this analytical approach yields valuable insights that can elevate your craft to new heights.

 

Touki Bouki

Touki Bouki (1973)

 

3. Document Unique Traits of Acquaintances

Take note of the idiosyncrasies and distinctive characteristics of the individuals in your life. These traits, when documented, can serve as a bank of inspiration for your characters. By infusing your creations with these genuine traits, you breathe life and authenticity into your work, avoiding the trappings of clichéd stereotypes.

 

4. Explore Your Characters’ Origin Stories

Although not all character backstory details make it into the final script, creating comprehensive origin stories is essential. These backstories help you understand your characters better, allowing you to predict their responses to obstacles, how they’ll strive to overcome challenges, and whether they’ll require assistance or face insurmountable odds.

 

5. Visualize Your Scenes

When tackling a scene, resist the urge to obsess over every minute detail from the start. Instead, close your eyes and conjure a mental image of the scene. Whether it’s a bustling supermarket or a serene park, let your imagination guide you. Write down your initial impressions and see where they lead. Trust this creative process to flow organically.

 

Albantsho - authenticity as a screenwriter

The Wedding Party (2016) | EbonyLife Films

 

6. Learn About Tropes

Understanding genre tropes is fundamental when crafting a screenplay. Tropes are akin to blueprints, providing a foundation for your narrative. However, using tropes doesn’t imply replication; it means taking these conventions and reshaping them to align with your vision. Infuse diversions and surprises that captivate your audience. Remember, to break the rules effectively, you must first know them.

 

Cultivating a unique voice is pivotal if your aim is to set yourself apart and maintain authenticity as a screenwriter. Your distinct perspective and approach to storytelling are what will ultimately resonate with your audience.

 

Did you find this insightful? Share your thoughts with us! There are more valuable screenwriting tips here. If you have a topic you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments.

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