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.