This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but one that I recommend wholeheartedly. Pick an episode from your favorite TV show and watch it till the end of the day before you go to sleep. Then, the next morning – sit down and write a scene from memory. Unless you’ve seen that episode two million times already, there will be lines of dialogue that’ll slip your mind. A lot of times, you’ll end up “inventing” scenes and lines of dialogue to fit the story in your mind, and some of them can be pretty good. I did the same thing with Everybody Loves Raymond, and the result was a silly, quirky short film about a husband and wife arguing about the validity of their emotions. The good thing about this exercise is that it lets you work with a stock character you know well and understand.
I created a script that ended up being produced as a short film, based on the opening scene of Pulp Fiction. The screenplay was inspired by the Honey Bunny scene with a little twist; instead of two robbers calling it quits on high-stake jobs and deciding to rob restaurants, I wrote Vlad Dracul and his wife Lisa into the scene, calling it quits on drinking blood out of hospital blood bags and deciding to kill and eat people again. You can check out Fine Dining on YouTube when you get a chance; it’s amusing, to say the least. The visuals took about four to five months to complete, but the script was the result of a writing challenge much like this one.