a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, August 30, 2007


The good thing about writing every day is that it keeps my script in my head, always.

That's been a problem, since I read so much other stuff that my writing hasn't always been able to stake out its patch of land. My brain is like Woodstock, without the topless girls.

Okay, maybe there are topless girls.

The bad thing about writing every day is that it keeps my script in my head, always.

I found myself wide awake this morning at 4:30 AM, after a choppy five hours of sleep. Lying there, thinking about my script despite myself, I came to a realization about a big scene near the ending.

Damn it. Up I got, at around 5 AM.

I'm not a morning person, but I managed to sit at the table downstairs, make some notes in longhand for about 20 minutes, then I sat at the laptop and wrote for a couple of hours.

And -- at least in my half-awake state -- it feels like I nailed the sequence I wrote. So maybe this sleep thing is overrated.

18 straight days, screenwriting for at least an hour. Boo-yah.

Tomorrow I'm going to write one final sequence of this, my low-budget thriller (not the actual climax, because I wrote that last week, just for the hell of it) and then I'll have a fairly unrough rough draft done.

Which feels nice, except it looks like it's going to clock in at about 83 pages, which -- despite purposely being the lean, tight script I want it to be -- is still way too short. Anything under 90+ pages just looks odd.

I'm not going to try to force in extra pages, but it's nice to know I have the room if I come up with a good sequence that fits, and my structure is flexible enough to allow this. When I first started writing, my drafts would come in around 140 pages; this is better.

Worse comes to worse, I'll just add an extra space before all the scene headings, and open the top and bottom margins just a little more. Sneak up to 90 that way -- but only if the script clicks like it is now.

After tomorrow, I'll toss it to the side for a week or two, and let it settle, so I can read it fresh.

Otherwise, congrats to Brett, who made the Nicholl semis with his script. It's a good, good thing. But here's hoping you make the finals, and don't get stuck in the dead zone that the semis represented for me...


At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just goes to show you can catch bad readers and you can catch good readers.

Unless you have a gem like Whale Farts. Then they're all good readers.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Fun Joel said...

So, have you figured out what you're planning to write every day while you put this draft aside? Wouldn't want you to ruin that awesome track record!

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I have a ton of stuff to do, screenwriting-wise.

I made notes with a friend on a script that we wanted to write together last year, that maybe it's time to rededicate ourselves to, because it's commercial as hell. I printed out all the notes we made, and they need to be gone through, and sorted out, and brainstormed.

If I dedicate a focused hour (at minimum) a day -- at least -- to brainstorming and creating pages of notes on a screenwriting project, that counts in my book.

I still have several half-completed projects that I can also jump back into, as well as ideas demanding my attention. What to write was never a problem, and still isn't :-)

So don't worry about me. I'm just going to roll right along...

At 6:21 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Keep rockin' Scott. I'm glad to hear your writing is going so well. And you're so right about eyeing other project while writing your current work. That's solid advice that's echoed by MANY other pros in Karl Igleasias' "The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters." I keep what I call a "docket" file which has a littany of varrious stories that are in varrious stages of being. I add to the docket from time-to-time, but don't dwell on it to heavily.

Congradulations Brett! Making the Nicholls' semi-finals is SO cool. Hopefully Brett will win, and get his script made into a moive or making some advances with other scripts he's written.

LOVE hearing about other author's sucesses. Thanks for the information, Scott.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you spell check your scripts?

At 6:36 AM, Blogger japhy99 said...

Glad you had the balls to get out of bed when the throught struck. Most of us just say we'll remember to get to it later. And then don't.

Here's to Day 19.

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Spanish Prisoner said...

on rewrites you always come up with new and better stuff and realize some pages will automatically be added up to your 83 current ones.

and don't fool yourself by cheating on formatting. if you have to rely on that then something is wrong anyway.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Mario A. said...

How do you treat intractable insomnia as Michael Jackson seemed to have and how is that michael took sildenafili can belibe it


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