The Bottom of the Mountain: Starting to Plot a Feature Script


I’m at a point now where I think I can begin the plot planning. I have a process which I follow to do this, and it’s easy:

Go from the ground up.



There can be many different ways to climb a mountain; different routes can be taken to climb, some longer and easier, and others shorter but harder. 

I think I’m somewhere in between. I start plotting by sitting down with a blank document or sheet of paper, and going on pure and raw instinct and ideas. I follow my fingers and let it breathe a life of its own. 

Sometimes I’ll come to a complete stop if I can’t find the right tone or path to follow for the story that I’m happy with. So I’ll state what I want to happen in the simplest way possible and move to the next beat.

Keep on moving.

Plotting from start to finish for me can take somewhere between an hour and a week. It completely depends on how I feel about the story and where it’s going and whether I’m happy with it.

For Souls it only took an hour to get the first 31 cards down, going from beginning to end. However, since the world is only partially developed, and I still need to establish the locations I’m going to use, as well as the structure of the culture and environment my characters will live in – it’s extremely underdeveloped. 

But, as I’ve stated in previous blogs that since I intend the world to be so large and the history to span over several thousands of years, I only need to consider the rule elements of the world as I’m not making Souls take place in a historically important moment in the macro timeline.

Now that I have the majority of the main beats, I can develop the world in the places necessary to flesh out the story, and give the illusion that the world and history are in fact fully developed. 


I’m going to work my way through the cards individually and analyse the each one, checking that it serves a purpose, whether it develops the character, or emotionally interacts the audience, or how it thematically tends to the story. Everything has to matter.

Carrying out this process will eliminate beats that aren’t needed, and I will discover new ones that are needed, or maybe even find new paths to take the film down and end in a different place that the current one does. Who knows? As I’ve said before, I love being ORGANIC! 

Wish me luck! Soon I might be introducing you to my characters…

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