How do you plot out your story?
For me, that's always where I have the most trouble. It sounds ridiculous, I know. I have no problem coming up with ideas, imagining characters, their worlds, and the stories themselves. I understand structure, and I think I'm capable enough at feeling out the correct pace and rhythm for a screenplay. But I often seem to languish in making loads of notes, imagining the script, etc, and once I get into the writing I whip through the pages. It's the detailed plotting phases which always gets me. I've tried writing a detailed treatment, and I really didn't enjoy it. I've tried the Coen approach of having as much information on paper and in my head as possible and then just trying to write the screenplay - but found that unless you're pre-2002 Coens that's really not a good idea. Typically, once I have everything more or less mapped out in my mind I'll take the index card route, but it still doesn't fill out as detailed as it should to be the launching pad for a full-on script. So what tricks or techniques does everyone else use for this phase of their writing?
Correct me if I´m wrong: You find yourself having too many ideas for scenes/set-pieces/sequences and you don´t know how to fit them into the structure of screenplay, yes?
When I have that problem, I try to sit down and focus on how they could fit together, how to fill out the blanks.
If I have a shoot-out in a bank, a scene where a man tries to get down from a roof and a a woman going on a blind-date, but not necessarily in that order, I try to flip them around and see what it sparks of new ideas. Doing the "What if...?"-thing. What if it starts with the woman going on a blind-date and I want the next scene to be the roof-scene, then how do I get the man up on the roof? What if he finds out he´s been followed and needs to escape. What if a waiter comes over, "There´s a call for you, sir", then the waiter knocks him down and he is suddenly on the roof of the building...blah blah blah, you get the point.
Eventually, you will have changed, turned, flipped every idea to see if they fit and have created an organic process to the events.
Of course, this translates very well to dialogue-pieces, information that the audience needs to know, etc. If I´m writing a scene where a girl has to climb a hill and has a fear of heights, in order for that to work, I need to have established (even in the smallest detail) that the girl has a fear of heights somewhere in the first act. I presume you already know this, but the tricky thing is always how to slip that information in so that it seems like a natural thing to see.
Did any of this qualify as a correct answer?