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Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, 2nd Edition by Claudia H. Johnson

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7

The Decision

Discoveries are often beyond our control, but decisions are not. They come straight from our unique Central Control—experience, values, world view.

“The quickest and best way to know someone is to see that person make a significant decision,” Sam Smiley says.

I agree. Our decisions define us. They also define the lives that we lead. It’s no wonder, then, that major decisions are powerful moments in screenplays. True watershed moments. In long and short scripts, a character’s most important decisions are often the turning points of the story—those moments of change that throw the story in a whole new direction.

Rainman is a perfect example: The first turning point at the end of Act I is Charlie Babbitt’s decision to kidnap his autistic ...

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