USEFUL TERM: Thin-slicing

“Thin-slicing is a term used in psychology and philosophy to describe the ability to find patterns in events based only on “thin slices,” or narrow windows, of experience.” Wikipedia

When I hear an idea for a movie, I thin-slice it in my head. A lot of the time, I realize the premise isn’t robust enough to support 100 pages of movie. As you develop your skills and write more screenplays, you develop your ability to thin slice, so you’ll spend less time on characters, premises and choices that are unlikely to work, and more time in directions that are more likely to bear fruit.

Published by Matt Lazarus

WGA screenwriter offering in-depth writing instruction, notes, critique, and assistance.

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