Some can't milk it, others can. I pretend

There are two parts of the writing process, and screenwriting specifically, that keeps my mind engaged from the time I get up in the morning to when I go to sleep.  The first is the most exciting and easy part of writing - what gets you in front of that pad of paper or computer in the first place (with a humongous smile) .  There's that moment in time where you first get that shock to your system where you know that, at some point, you'll find yourself in front of a pad of paper or computer screen, knowing that, if you don't get that first twinge of story or scene out of your mind, it won't go away no matter you do.

The next part of writing that grabs me, throwing me for a humongous loop, is how to harness that first scene, or seed in you head, thinking that you might have a story idea that fits in a genre, but is so different and exciting everyone in Hollywood wants to be involved with.  After coming up with something so exciting, you as a writer can't function like other people around you expect you to do because you are in such a daze where even a coffee shop barista, bartender, or grocery store cashier can't get your attention.

Because of my fascination with these two things, I went back and read several interviews and quotes from screenwriters, trying to find out what gets them from that first inkling of story in their mind to actually writing to where they can be confident to present what they have to someone, resulting is some project getting made. (damn them paid screenwriters).

The fuck part of this all is that they aren't much different than me (except that they actually make money with what they write).  But, this does give me hope.  I'm like one of them, right?

I've written two of my three complete screenplays (both still in multiple rewrites) after getting a really cool idea for a scene in my head, like it came to me in some fantastic way.  I had no idea how the story might come out, but I did know that this scene had to be in some movie because it's really cool: I mean really cool, like "so and so screenwriter' did it before but not as good.  The bad part of it all is that I didn't know what would happen to my characters after I created that scene - in a way, abusing them.  Rewrite after rewrite, I'm still trying to find out how each character is best served in the story that I didn't actually have in the first place.  In other words, the character(s) I created in that ingenious scene (or scenes) didn't deserve to be created in the first place.

Back to the professionals.....................

This is where I was planning to give you quotes from the those SOB paid screenwriters on how they approach screenwriting after getting that itch that can't be ignored.  In reading hundreds of articles and multiple books where screenwriters discuss their process, these are the main approaches I've read:
  • Some outline everything and would never think about writing without one.
  • Some writers use detailed beat sheets.
  • Others think about their story for over a year, making notes, until they know so much about their characters and story that when they do sit down to write, the first draft just spills out of them.
  • I've read a few times where some screenwriters will write a first draft without any dialogue.
  • Some, which I consider my heroes, will just sit down and write scene after scene until they realize they've written close to 200 pages and are somewhat close to having a coherent story, not paying much or any attention to structure.
  • Other writers are students of the great screenwriting gurus, that they have such a understanding of story, character, and structure to where their writing is, in a way, ornate.
Obviously, when writing a screenplay, going through several rewrites, writers have to use whatever they need to get that finished product out, using more than one of those approaches I mentioned above, but when asked, screenwriters usually make a point to say that they use one of those six ways to get started.

Back to me....

The fun part of writing, which I now believe may will be the reason why I may never become a paid writer is that I just wrote those words, "the fun part of writing".  I went and wrote a couple feature length screenplays without fully realizing that maybe sitting down and writing scenes without any direction isn't the way to go.
I will never be a good enough screenwriter to write those 200 pages of scenes, or a half dozen of rewrites where theme, character pursuits, and structure is good enough to have written something relevant.

I guess what I'm saying is that my approach I've taken so far might not be the way to go.


No Pirate Jokes Allowed - first posting/new beginning

"Maybe I don't have to be good, but I can try to be
at least a little better than (I have) been so far." - Avett Brothers ("When I drink")

That's my goal - trying to be better than I was yesterday. What that means is that I'll always do my best to tell you how I've become a better writer than I was the day before (or days in between posts).

The bottom line is that the more I write, the more capable I am of becoming a better person. Writing, in definition, is a solitude engagement. Sharing what you wrote, especially with those that you love, at any point in the process, is more important than you may realize.  Obviously, in our daily lives, we all deal with people, situations, and (real, or imaginary) emergencies that take us away from spending more time and/or paying more attention to the people that are important in our lives.  That's nothing new, we are all guilty of this - especially me.

Hopefully, with my new attitude, I won't rely on others around me to recognize the effort I'm putting toward my goal of become a screenwriter, short story, and/or novel writer.

Once again, I won't let pirate jokes get in the way of who I am.