The way you write a screenplay is that you close your eyes and run the movie in your head and then you write it down.
A well-chosen complication should give you choices. Juggling choices for your characters is what makes writing fun, after all. If you discover that you’re struggling more than you ought to with a draft, perhaps you’ve run out of interesting choices, or have given yourself too few choices to begin with. Go back to the complication, fatten it up, and start over.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a powerful illustration of why fantasy matters in the first place. … I bristle whenever fantasy is characterized as escapism. It’s not a very accurate way to describe it; in fact, I think fantasy is a powerful tool for coming to an understanding of oneself. The magic trick here, the sleight of hand, is that when you pass through the portal, you re-encounter in the fantasy world the problems you thought you left behind in the real world. Edmund doesn’t solve any of his grievances or personality disorders by going through the wardrobe. If anything, they’re exacerbated and brought to a crisis by his experiences in Narnia. When you go to Narnia, your worries come with you. Narnia just becomes the place where you work them out and try to resolve them.
When talented people write badly, it’s generally for one of two reasons: Either they’re blinded by an idea they feel compelled to prove of they’re driven by an emotion they must express. When talented people write well, it is generally for this reason: They’re moved by a desire to touch the audience.
Virginia Woolf was a writer’s writer. For as many moments of artistic despair as there are, one also finds glimmers of hope, of faith in the process. In 1933, she wrote, “I must not let myself believe that I’m simply a ladylike prattler: […] No, I must say to myself, this is a mere wisp, a veil of water; and so create, hardly, fiercely, as I feel now more able to do than ever before.” In 1934, she spoke directly to those of us who would come after her: “A note, by way of advising other Virginias with other books that this is the way of the thing: up down up down – and Lord knows the truth.”