On Developing New Work
When developing a new work, we encourage team members to consider the following exercises and questions:
- Develop a one-sentence statement of the story’s spine as you currently understand it. (see Story notes for McKee's definition of "spine.")
- Develop a one-page synopsis of the story, including the beginning, middle and end, with no “teasers.” You can indicate where steps in the story are as yet unclear.
- If the work is adapted from an existing work, do you have permission to adapt the source material, if not in the public domain? Many writers have had years of work end in disappointment when rights were denied.
- What is it about this idea that will keep you going when you realize you’ve been working on the piece for six years and it’s not done yet? The thing that has to be part of it for you to care enough to finish it, that you must not let anybody talk you out of?
- What is the tone or style, and do all elements reflect that?
- Who will be the audience for this piece, and do all elements reflect that?
- Are the right collaborators in place?
- How can you and your collaborators balance incorporating feedback with staying true to your vision?