Taking Morality Out of the Question. Writing Tips from Tarantino - Senstone

Taking Morality Out of the Question. Writing Tips from Tarantino

30 Nov, 2020

Everybody knows Quentin Tarantino, one of the most skilled filmmakers and screenwriter in modern Hollywood. His advice on writing is based on vast experience, and the quality of his movies is proof enough that it works. Let’s see what we can learn from him and how we can use the voice recording and speech-to-text technology in our favor.

1. Develop your OWN writing process that makes you happy.

No matter how quirky your perfect writing schedule might seem to other people, what’s really important is whether you are comfortable with it and get things done as planned. For Quentin Tarantino, the routine consists of the following steps:

1) Write for about seven hours.

2) Unwind and go into the pool.

3) While in the water, think about the story and come up with new ideas.

4) Write down those ideas and put them away until tomorrow. Our voice assistant and audio to text converter on-the-go perfectly fits for collecting your moments of genius. 

2. Don’t confuse the audience.

At any given point, the audience has to know exactly what’s going on – unless you are confusing the viewer/reader on purpose to reach a certain effect.

3. Rewrite other scenes and fill in the blanks.

As a student, Quentin Tarantino used to write down entire movie scenes from memory, while filling the blanks with his own writing. It’s a good exercise in writing dialogue and characters.

4. Take the oldest stories in the book and reinvent them.

A lot of storylines in Quentin Tarantino’s movies either offer a new perspective at the types of characters that are commonly considered little more than props or present ancient plot clichés with a new flavour.

5. Take morality out of the question to have interesting characters.

When writing characters, Quentin Tarantino avoids implanting his own sense of morality into their personalities to the degree where many of them can be categorized as villains. Not everyone on the screen has to be likeable or relatable; everyone has to be interesting to watch.

6. Write the movie you want to see.

There is always something you wish others would make differently just to fit your tastes. Go ahead and show the world how it’s done. Make your favourite movie.

7. Do your subtext work.

A single story can have two different meanings and tell two different things. The text – i. e. the surface level – is for all viewers, but the subtext, the deeper meaning and associations behind the text, is for the viewer to interpret. In general, it’s great to have subtext, because it benefits the story depth. You should also be aware of your subtext.

8. Give your characters moral choices.

Yes, morality of the writer is not an issue (see no. 5), but characters better have their own principles to uphold. Naturally, during the course of the plot those personal philosophies must be put to the test. Hit your characters where it hurts to develop a gripping, memorable story.

9. Write extensive character backstories to get the best actors.

A well-developed, living character gives you a better chance of scoring the actor or actress up to the task. Although character backgrounds never make it into the films, Quentin Tarantino sometimes spends pages outlining his characters’ life stories and the events that made them who they are.

10. Love what you do.

Passion can take you everywhere in the world of writing and film-making. It will make up for respective education and expensive equipment. It will help you leap over the obstacles others might find too big to overcome. Love your art.

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