Working to deadlines & more rambling

More ramblings…

You’re either a hard working writer, or like me you’re lazy.

I’d say the majority of up and coming writers are just like me. We love what we do, but sitting down in front of a computer and typing a script can be painful.

For arguments sake, let’s say I have done a scene breakdown of a 30 minute sitcom. I know my characters, I know my story in and out and now I’m writing the dialogue.

I look at the cold opener and immediately I’m bored. I came up with the intro six months ago and now have no interest in it. Sure it’s a great intro and sets up the story in a funny way, but I’m impatient and already want to move on to new ideas, the next episode etc.

This all comes back to the deadline.

If I have no deadline I can’t write. Sure I can plan to write, but without a script, what is the point?

I’m sure you have several great ideas and you’re passionate about them. You truly believe if one of them became a script then something big can come of it.

I have produced some of my best work the night before a due date. Could I produce better work if I started two weeks earlier? Absolutely! However, I simply will set it aside and plan anything but the actual goal.
Anything that is not the due work.

How do we combat this?

You need to feel passionately about your work. A no brainer, but you constantly find that people lose interest in their own work. If you lose the passion, I’d suggest moving on to something that sparks your interest and really makes you want to write. If you can’t convince me why I should read your work, then why should someone in the industry?

You need to set aside daily goals such as:

Writing a page a day
A scene a day
10 scenes for your breakdown

 

Anything that you find achievable.
The best way to look at it is: If you write a page a day, you will have a full script in roughly 90 days.
That is not that long and you have a script that you can say “I wrote this.”

It will suck, absolutely, but from there you push forward to a second draft, you get feedback, someone can edit it and so on.

It’s still tough to sit there and do it, but not as tough as writing an entire script late at night, stressed out that you won’t complete it.
Trust me when I say this: Late night, last minute work pays a heavy price on the quality of your work.

I’m not a proof reader and even if I did, I would have tunnel vision.
I see this in so many students work. Scripts full of inconsistencies, such as scene headings not matching, spelling mistakes, sentences not making sense, or being relevant and a whole lot more. I’m guilty of this too.

A random point I must make (and this scares me) is that the majority of screenwriting students in my course do not even know how to structure a script. I have seen some terribly written work the last year and these are second/third year students…

Aside from the fact that at no point in my course did a teacher show us how to structure a script. I’m more concerned that nobody has googled “How to write a screenplay.”

This was the first thing I did after deciding to study screen writing.

Thanks for reading.

 

First rant

Writers think they can write… right?

Young, self conscious screenwriters are hilarious. Don’t even bother giving them feedback because instead of taking notes their face will turn to rage and they’ll produce a small poo on the chair in front of you.

Let me state: I don’t think of myself as a writer, but writing is easy.

I don’t think my fellow students suck, but I do think most suck at screen. They can all write pros, but honestly who gives a shit about pros? This is screenwriting.

Pros can suck my balls. I’ll leave that to the professional writing students, with their bizarre sense of superiority and magical gifts for writing. Just don’t ask them to write about themselves or you’ll hear the most drab pieces of shit in the world. Anyone who has just come out of high school should not do professional writing. Trust me when I say this: You have nothing of importance to say. Hearing you read about your childhood from the hallway is laughable.

“Wishing well… my small hands, clasping at the autumn leaves…”

Oh, that almost brought a tear to my eye. #deepnmeaningful

Back to the screen:

If you can’t pen a script together and then a re-draft, whilst writing another script, or treatment, with several other ideas for other genres and formats flying around your brain, then you’re never going to become a screenwriter.

I use the term screenwriter loosely, as the returning speakers to our course are honestly the most boring individuals I’ve ever heard speak. Not to mention their work; It is pure shite to me, but apparently amazing to the Australian TV viewer. All 15 of them.

To reiterate: I don’t think I’m some fantastic writer. I’m just a hack with an opinion. A keyboard warrior is what all the Sunrise viewers would call me. You’ll catch up with the rest of the interwebz soon enough.

I’m not jealous or bitter (about screenwriting at least), however when you are using these people as motivation and inspiration, I honestly have a stint of constipation.

“It’s a difficult ten year journey. Just volunteer with places that won’t let you, make lots of contacts and get lucky.”

So I’ve listened to the Daft Punk song, now I’m off to make lots of contacts!

Here I am at a Writers’ Guild event listening to a success story. It’s the same story I heard the week before, but Im almost positive it’s a different ugly, old person talking. Thank god Con the Fruiterer is hosting this thing or I’d be walking.

The hour is up and a bunch of even older people are in a room talking to each other. So you puff up that chest, clear your throat and suggest a TV show that could be the next Breaking Bad (overrated). You have a great chat and hear some very interesting industry stories, but at the end of the day they have their own work and couldn’t care less about a young student brimming with subconsciously stolen ideas.

They wrote a semi successful Australian show that had four seasons in the 70’s and probably had a stint on Neighbours or Home and Away. Meanwhile the theme “They took our jerbs!” is running through their mind and they have child support, anti depressants to buy and have to think of that next big show… Probably something about a family… on a farm… but they’re from the city…then they become country folk… maybe win the lotto, but it’s actually a metaphor for winning and losing in life. Cops! It needs some cops in there too. While we’re here, throw in some true to life criminals. We MUST celebrate the crims and killers!

I’m off to write a Brett Cowan biopic titled “Buried – The True Story of the Death of Daniel Morcombe from the Eyes of Killer Cowan”