- You have too much to do. Make a list and the tasks ahead won’t seem quite so overwhelming.
- You have too much on your mind. If you’re trying to make a big life decision, write down your feelings, the pros and cons, where your heart is. The answer will almost surely present itself.
- You’re mad. Write what you’re feeling before saying it to the appropriate party. It’ll help you calm down and see both sides before saying something you’ll regret. Writing is excellent therapy.
- You’re happy. Life’s joys are worth recording. Keep a journal of happy moments to always remember the simple pleasures in life. Continue reading
Yesterday I finished the rough draft of my latest screenplay. That accomplishment inspired me to type this little list. These sentiments aren’t limited to any particular form of writing. I think they’re applicable to writing in/for/of journals, blogs, books, poems, latrinalia, marginalia, sermons, eulogies, business proposals, sticky notes, essays, and everything else.
Awesome: When inspiration strikes
Sucky: When you actually have to sit down and try to right out your thoughts
Awesome: The potential for self-discovery
Sucky: Staring at a blank Word doc for an hour without writing a word
Awesome: The elation of finding the perfect word
Sucky: The agony of searching for the perfect word Continue reading
I haven’t written any new posts in quite a while. Why? Time management.
Alright, my inability to force myself to write when I’m not faced with a pressing deadline is only part of it. Yes, it’s a major part. But the other piece of the pie is my damn laziness.
I have a brain full of ideas and intentions, but those intentions rarely make their way onto paper (or I suppose screen) without a definite paycheck behind them. I’ve managed to make a career for myself as a freelance writer. I work from home and make a decent income typing away for about twenty hours a week. Continue reading
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”
Writing a script is the easy part. The trick is getting someone to produce it. Something like 80,000 scripts are written annually in America and only a few hundred of those get made into films, and only a select portion of those get shown in theaters.
Before anyone can sell a script, they have to get it read. The best way I know to get a script read by people who can actually do something with it (aside from having an amazing network, of course) is through e-query delivery services.
ScriptDelivery.com is a great service that I have used before. After sending out a query with them, I got about twenty requests to read my script from agents and producers. I’ve heard good things about SellaScript.com, but I haven’t tried them out yet. Their service sends your query out to over 5,000 agents, managers, and producers.
Just be careful not to get dragged into any scams when using these kinds of services. They send your query to a lot of legitimate industry companies, but they’ll also send it to some hack jobs who will get back to you saying they’ll get your script sold in no time if you just pay them a small (often several hundred dollar) service fee.
But you know better than to fall for something like that.
If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves. ~Don Marquis
I was wandering around the web today and made a few very cool discoveries.
The first was a website called MovieStorm. It’s this online program that you can use to create animatic (digital, Sims-esque) versions of your movies. For screenwriters like me, it looks like an awesome tool to create trailers for scripts, which are always excellent tools for attracting agents and producers.
But (and this is a very big but) this site appears to be subscription based, and I’m guessing it’s more than a little bit pricy. No prices are given up front.
However, I’m still enthralled by this idea. Does anyone know of other sites/services/programs like this that might be a bit more cost effective??
My second discovery today was the NYC Midnight 2010 Screenwriter’s Challenge. This contest appeals to me because it forces entrants to generate new material within a set time frame.
In the first round, contestants are broken into heats, and each heat gets its own genre and its own subject which must be adheared to. Contestants then have eight days (April 16-24) to create a new, original screenplay of fifteen pages or less. The top writers from the first round move to the final round, in which the whole process is repeated, except that the time limit is a mere twenty-four hours.
I signed up immediately. I’m so excited. If nothing else, I’ll get at least one new short out of it, and that’s worth the entry fee to me. Plus, pressure always improves my writing. Don’t ask me why.
(The title is a reference to Wordsworth)