The Boxing Match
Since the day you thought about writing screenplays, you’ve no doubt been told that they must have conflict. As I’ve said, this is only half true—connection is equally important. And this advice about conflict is not very helpful if you’re trying to learn the craft of screenwriting. It gets you obsessing about the wrong thing. You begin to think that conflict is some secret ingredient in a screenwriter’s potion—the dramatist’s eye of newt—and you wonder where the heck you can find some to throw in your script. But you don’t find conflict, you create it.
Like so many others, Linda Cowgill insists in Writing Short Films, “Action in drama and fiction depends upon conflict, which is the starting point of all drama.”
With all due ...