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Taormina 12-08-2011 06:10 PM

Re: Your Modus Operandi
Evening and night writer here. Can't do mornings.

jtwg50 12-09-2011 04:33 PM

Re: Your Modus Operandi
I'm also an incremental escalation guy, but I don't do as much mythological thrusting as I did when I was younger. And I sometimes get short of breath trying to climb the ladder, so I bought a trampoline and now just bounce myself to the top. It seems to work, but not for dramas or vampire stories.

JibJib 12-09-2011 05:59 PM

Re: Your Modus Operandi
Can't get enough myth thrust.

Ron Aberdeen 12-10-2011 10:16 AM

Re: Your Modus Operandi
I start each day around 8 am answering emails planning the day and starting in earnest about 10 am.

When working on an assignment I normally have a time schedule so it is straight down to work.

When working on a spec I drift with ideas until I work on the outline, once the outline is written then its all go until the first draft of screenplay is completed which I try to do based on a page an hour.

With rewrite I normally take a couple of hours a page.

I take an hour for lunch and normally leave my office at 6pm.

I believe self discipline is the hardest discipline for a writer to learn.

Vance 12-12-2011 05:03 AM

Re: Your Modus Operandi
I used to write all my first drafts longhand, by hand. I still write longhand, but a boxer break in my left hand has ended doing that with a pen and paper so I've changed things up a bit.

Formative work on a story is oral. I take walks with any friend willing to put up with my crap and talk it out, give and take, which is great pitch practice.

I keep a small army of notebooks, enough to conquer a small, papery Belgium. Each one is dedicated to a future project, because 1) I will have ideas for future stories that have been brewing in my mind and 2) I refuse to write multiple scripts at once. Nothing burns me out faster. So with the notebooks I can jot down an idea or piece of dialogue for another project without splitting my time.

(As a side note, does anybody else get a warm feeling from seeing two consecutive pages covered in their own handwriting?)

When I've chosen a project I'll either write a scene guide or a treatment, depending on how much detail I already have in my mind. Just the essentials. I'm just creating my road map to make sure the scene transitions aren't arbitrary.

Sometimes I'll start cold writing a script before the outline or treatment and go on so long as I feel comfortable, but I usually stop within ten pages or so to start the formative work. My target in script mode is seven pages a day, but I'm not upset with myself if I occasionally fall short because I definitely have days where I hit some kind of natural high and burn through twenty or more. Those are the days where I feel like I'm standing in some hallway I've never seen before, bloody hatchet in hand, wondering what the hell happened THIS time.

Good dialogue is not a concern on the first draft. It tends to be highly expository. My thoughts here are to get it on the page and keep the momentum, you can be awfully clever later. So I've developed a bit of a natural rhythm that I edit the previous day's work for about an hour before starting in on the new pages because I can't stand looking back at a whole script full of banal dialogue. Nothing kills my will to live faster than realizing I've set myself up for the mother of all editing jobs.

I tend to reliably get a 1.5 draft out within a few weeks to a month.

At this point the script goes out to five friends, sometimes industry but always the type of people who aren't afraid to put on combat boots and stomp me when I deserve it. I used to send a sixth copy to my grandmother in case everybody else hated it. I move onto the next project while they digest it, and when I'm done with that I'll revisit the original work with a fresh eye and a full set of notes to consider.

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