WATCH: Even the director of The Banshees Of Inisherin was shocked by his own movie
'I was shocked when Brendan did that!'
Not to oversimplify it, but when it comes to writing, there are basically two schools:
(1) You know every single plot detail already, having mapped it out in your mind or on countless pages of preparation, before you sit down to write a single word, or
(2) You know next to nothing, starting from the opening scene and just sort seeing where the characters and the actions they take direct you in the story you're writing.
So when we sat down with Oscar-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh about his new movie The Banshees of Inisherin, we had to ask him about his writing style.
McDonagh has an incredible CV already, ranging from Academy Award-winning shorts (Six Shooter), to his big screen hits (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), to his much-loved stage plays (The Cripple of Inishmaan, A Skull in Connemara, The Lieutenant of Inishmore).
You can check out our full chat with McDonagh right here:
During the interview, in which McDonagh also reveals his one big piece of writing advice for wannabe scripters, he also talks about his particular writing style when it comes to his screenplays.
McDonagh told us:
"I literally, at the start of a film script or a play, I don't know what is going to happen. I maybe have one or two characters, or a sense of what their characters might be, but I know absolutely nothing.
"For instance, in this [movie], about 20 pages in, and it is in the trailer so it's not really a spoiler, but Brendan comes into the pub and says 'Unless you don't talk to me anymore, I'm gonna start cutting my fingers off'. And I was shocked when he said that, and hopefully an audience is shocked too, saying 'Why the hell is that- That is going a bit far!'
"But it was a shock to me, and I love that. I think if you plot everything out from the start, then you can never really be surprised by twists and turns like that."
And without spoiling anything, that isn't the only twist or turn to be found in this movie.
The Banshees of Inisherin arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 21 October, and you can also check out our interview with Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell right here: