Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Screenwriting
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-05-2011, 04:40 PM   #1
TravisPickle
Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 296
Default Your Modus Operandi

Hey cigars and cigarettes,

I was thinking about my workflow, and my productivity in general.

This came about because a younger friend of mine wants to start writing "seriously" and asked me what my routine was.

My first answer was "why would you want to get into writing". But when I realized he was serious, so I thought about it.

I spend a long time thinking about ideas. I send e-mails to friends with log lines, mention an idea in passing, send them an article.

Once I have filtered these to 2-3 ideas, I set out to write pretty lengthy treatments for at least two of them. I say I set out because, inevitably, one takes control (usually the first) and that's the one I end up writing.

The screenplay itself comes pretty quickly. Maybe 5-6 weeks.

And then there's re-writing.

However, when I am not writing I have long bouts of nothingness. Days where I basically just... don't write. I'll read, walk around, see movies, go to shows, talk to friends. Basically live the bohemian lifestyle ;-) but in terms of producing pages? Nada.

I guess my M.O. is "on or off". I absolutely cannot relate to people who wake up and write 5-6 pages no matter what. Pages that (I presume) often just exist by themselves, and are not part of a bigger project.

I'm trying to better myself. And be more productive. But in a way my commitment to a project is like dating- you don't want to overdo it at the beginning while you're still figuring out if you like the person. Then you see more of him/her. And once you've realized that there's chemistry and that you like each other, you spend a ton of time together.

Just my thoughts

Would love to hear from you about this.
TravisPickle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 05:04 PM   #2
Madbandit
Member
 
Madbandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,333
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

When I start writing, I read something for inspiration. A novel, perhaps. Two to three chapters, I go through.

Then, I go to a spiral notebook and write four to five pages. A scene or two.

Next, I type the scene, making it a race. The first draft, which is in longhand script, must finish the race before the typed version.

Finally, a polish (some editing and rewriting) of the typed version.

That's it.
__________________
"A screenwriter is much like being a fire hydrant with a bunch of dogs lined up around it. -Frank Miller

"A real writer doesn't just want to write; a real writer has to write." -Alan Moore
Madbandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
TravisPickle
Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 296
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

Wow... longhand! That's pretty epic.

Do you find that longhand works best for some genres as opposed to others?
TravisPickle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
Madbandit
Member
 
Madbandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,333
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPickle View Post
Wow... longhand! That's pretty epic.

Do you find that longhand works best for some genres as opposed to others?

I'm been writing longhand (getting to be a lost art, I fear) since grade school, and I haven't gave it up because it helped me deal with my physical discoordination. Plus, it doesn't matter what genre I write.
__________________
"A screenwriter is much like being a fire hydrant with a bunch of dogs lined up around it. -Frank Miller

"A real writer doesn't just want to write; a real writer has to write." -Alan Moore
Madbandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
Bellabell
Member
 
Bellabell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 687
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

My system is similar to T.P. except my treatments are not lengthy. Since I'm a visual person, I always diagram a synthesis too. I think someone posted a great example of one on here a few years back. It is great to use as a bird's eye view of your story and spot holes before you start.

Writing the screenplay easily takes 3-4 months as I work it around the job that pays the bills.
__________________
Never mistake motion for action. ~Ernest Hemingway
Bellabell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
Dr. Gonzo
User
 
Dr. Gonzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 199
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

For an idea to really get me excited enough to write about it it has to do two things for me:
A) Constantly keep entering into my brain when coming up with ideas.
B) Be fun and original enough for me to want to write, or at least I feel I can add something to that sort of story that someone has not.

I won't just go off writing the first few things I think would make great movies, it's really gotta stick. I think you have to love it if you spend so much time with it.

With the thing I'm working on now I decided to start completely different, for this one I didn't write up a treatment. I drew up a diagram of the beginning the mid point and the ending. I approached this one like Spielberg, Lucas and Kasdan approached the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" story conferences. I made a list of all the things I would love to see in this kind of movie... set pieces, characters, situations. Once I had a pretty descent list a spent a few days piecing it all together in a way that would serve the original story I wanted to tell. Then I began writing.

This is not my usual method but it has been refreshing. A little scary too without the treatment, just a rough outline, but it's been freeing too.

In the beginning I was writing everyday, In the middle I started getting a few jobs so it had to be put on hold, but once the jobs were over I did find it a little more difficult to get back into, in fact it took me weeks to get back into. I'm towards the end now and I have been writing just about everyday squeezing out at least five pages, well mostly.

But between projects I really do get lazy. Something has to really strike a chord for me to want to commit it to paper. I hope to be done with this one before years end.

So that's how I'm working. Lately
__________________
INT. DR. GONZO'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

A glass of BOURBON in one hand and a COMPUTER MOUSE in the other,
Dr. Gonzo contemplates getting off the message board and back to his script.
Dr. Gonzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
The Road Warrior
Member
 
The Road Warrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,929
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPickle View Post
Hey cigars and cigarettes,

I was thinking about my workflow, and my productivity in general.

This came about because a younger friend of mine wants to start writing "seriously" and asked me what my routine was.

My first answer was "why would you want to get into writing". But when I realized he was serious, so I thought about it.

I spend a long time thinking about ideas. I send e-mails to friends with log lines, mention an idea in passing, send them an article.

Once I have filtered these to 2-3 ideas, I set out to write pretty lengthy treatments for at least two of them. I say I set out because, inevitably, one takes control (usually the first) and that's the one I end up writing.

The screenplay itself comes pretty quickly. Maybe 5-6 weeks.

And then there's re-writing.

However, when I am not writing I have long bouts of nothingness. Days where I basically just... don't write. I'll read, walk around, see movies, go to shows, talk to friends. Basically live the bohemian lifestyle ;-) but in terms of producing pages? Nada.

I guess my M.O. is "on or off". I absolutely cannot relate to people who wake up and write 5-6 pages no matter what. Pages that (I presume) often just exist by themselves, and are not part of a bigger project.

I'm trying to better myself. And be more productive. But in a way my commitment to a project is like dating- you don't want to overdo it at the beginning while you're still figuring out if you like the person. Then you see more of him/her. And once you've realized that there's chemistry and that you like each other, you spend a ton of time together.

Just my thoughts

Would love to hear from you about this.
I'm writing a novel at the moment, so I have to do that 'every day' thing, or I wouldn't get anywhere, so it's early mornings, when it's still dark, and I write even if the ideas aren't flowing, sometimes I'll have a few days of writing which does nothing more than move me towards something better, so it will come out in edit, but it keeps up the discipline, so it's a bit like the gym, it keeps you toned.

WIth scripts, pretty much what hscope, say -- hello hscope btw, hope you're well -- and plan it in my head, and then write at least 25 pages up quickly, if that seems to be working, finish the script as soon as possible whilst the idea is fresh, and that usually means putting other writing on hold, or using the weekends, and doing longer sessions, but ....

None of the above is set in stone, life intrudes, so I've been where you are, the movies, books, and doing other things, but.... if you want to be productive, there's no way around getting those pesky words down, a need to write helps I think, and if you write a lot, it begins to feel 'odd' when you don't write, that becomes like the addiction I get from running, when you don't run, you get guilt and think, 'slacker' and it's a bit like that with writing for me, if I write the guilt and slacker aspect recedes, and so writing becomes a way of getting rid of those uncomfortable feelings.

Stephen King in his popular book says write a lot and read a lot, I think that more or less says it all.

__________________
Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

Last edited by The Road Warrior : 12-07-2011 at 09:17 AM. Reason: little typo, just a little one, honestly
The Road Warrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 07:39 AM   #8
VanceVanCleaf
Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 343
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

I have an idea, or some ideas, and move them around in my mind some time, create some artwork fitting into them (covers and illustrations) which make me dive deeper into the characters and see if I have the right link to them.

When the idea has formed an outline and laid out plotpoints, I start to make basic research for the background, see if this can be done at all.

Then, I just start writing. I tried index cards once and it does not work for me. However, I make character sheets with my people's background.

I tend to rewrite several scenes before the whole thing is done, and then start to rewrite more, until I feel everything falls into the place where it should be. It's a constant process.

As for the writing business in general, I'm always onto something, thinking about stories/scenes or writing them - on paper or keyboard, depends on the situation I'm in at that moment. Mostly, I have several simultaneous writing projects, not all commercial, some just for fun and practice. When it happens I have nothing to write at all... I get the black hole, if you know what I mean. Thanks God, this happens not very often.
__________________

VanceVanCleaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
emily blake
Member
 
emily blake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,721
Default Re: Your Modus Operandi

As time has gone by I've created more and more detailed outlines. Then I revise the outline until I've made the best possible decision about every scene.

Then I write - usually on the weekends. I put on my proper playlist - general writing music, action scenes or romantic scenes - and lock myself in my office until I've written as much as I feel like I can write. I try to go for 5 pages. Any time I feel like quitting, I push myself to write one more page, and often I end up writing two or three more.

Then I take notes on all the changes I want to make, then I revise. Then I get notes. Then I do a major rewrite. Then I get more notes. Then I rewrite again. Then I put it down for a week. Then I rewrite again. Then I send it out. Then I think about it and probably rewrite some stuff again because as you know, nothing is ever finished.
__________________
Chicks Who Script podcast
emily blake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker