Advice for a newbie...

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  • Advice for a newbie...

    A couple of years ago I had an idea for an animated feature (3D), which I considered (and still do) to be original and very inventive. The idea is perfectly suited to 3D animation, in fact I can't imagine it being realised in 2D. The idea's main focus relates to a mechanism which conveys the doing of good and bad, and emotional interaction. I consider the mechanism to be so versatile that it could be used as an indirect method for introducing a more emotional experience in computer games.

    Earlier this year (mid-Feb) I started to work on a script which would serve as an introduction to the environment and the characters. I have so far completed about a third of it. It's taking far longer than I thought it would. Part of the problem I have is striving for perfection. I will write a section and then spend a considerable amount of time thinking/inventing ways of improving it. What I'd like to know is that if this is common? And at what point would you accept what is written. (I've written sections, which I consider to be funny and serves adequately the point which needs to made. Only to re-write it after re-examining every word and sentence)

  • #2
    Re: Advice for a newbie...

    It's tremendously common.

    As for advice, I direct you to an excellent quote from Unca Leo: "Don't get it right, get it written."

    The first draft is all about getting words on paper. If you try to get every page, every line, every word perfect, you'll never finish the draft. And without a first draft, there's no second draft. Etc.

    I used to have this problem a lot. I got over it by intentionally going the other way. I fully accept that the first draft is going to be garbage. (Heck, even Hemingway says so.) So, if a scene is really giving me trouble - if I'm totally stuck trying to "get it right" - I write the scene as bad as I can. I make it awful.

    That way, I'm not worried about its quality (of course it sucks! I tried), and the script is rolling. It's all about momentum. Keep moving at all costs.

    Once I've hit "fade out", I can go back and spend hours obsessing over little stuff.
    They cursed us forever, making us prefer dreams to lives.

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    • #3
      Re: Advice for a newbie...

      I have this problem as well... it's really frustrating... one day I'm like "YES! THIS IS FVCKIN GENIOUS!!!" -- then the next day when I read it through again I'm like "ARGH WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING!" :<

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      • #4
        Re: Advice for a newbie...

        I was just recounting that quote, which I read. Can't recall who it was from, but it certainly is a useful bit o' wisdom.
        RIP Lew Gastoni.

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        • #5
          Re: Advice for a newbie...

          Points noted. Thanks guys.

          Actually, another infuriating thing I've noticed is that sometimes the work I've discarded is quite good, and that I can't fathom why it got discarded. Maybe it depends on the mood I'm in.

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          • #6
            Re: Advice for a newbie...

            "Part of the problem I have is striving for perfection. I will write a section and then spend a considerable amount of time thinking/inventing ways of improving it. What I'd like to know is that if this is common? And at what point would you accept what is written."

            You are definitly not alone.
            As others I use to have this same problem. Until I realized that no matter how many times or different ways I wrote a scene, I would never be happy with it. There will always be a line you want to touch up, dialogue you want to change, even after the final draft is complete. That's why it is recommended to hire a typist to type your final draft. Otherwise it will never be sent.

            I'm a complete perfectionist, and would spend hours/days on one scene to get it just right. Needless to say, I wasn't getting any work done. Here's what I did to change that.

            I write the slug line for each scene on an index card, a brief reminder of where I want the scene to go-it's main purpose, and maybe the characters involved. Everyday I pick one or two index cards, maybe more depending on the length of the scenes, and I just write. My main problem was trying to write from begining to end. That works for some people, but for me it was, if I couldn't get the begining down I couldn't move on. With the index cards, I'm taken out of my little box of organization and I can concentrate on just getting the scene on paper, staple it to my index card and move on. When it's all said and done, I've got my stack of scenes I can go through, arrange, whatever, and then start writing my second draft, perfecting here and there.

            Steph
            "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." --T.S. Eliot

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            • #7
              Re: Advice for a newbie...

              Best advice on screenwriting I ever received came from "Quigley Down Under" writer John Hill, who said, "Write novels instead."

              -Derek
              Derek's Web Page - stories, screenplays, novels, insanity.

              The Absolute Write Ultimate Screenwriting Challenge Contest
              Rules & Prizes
              Read the Entries for Task 1
              Read Task 2 Goals

              Nobody knows nothing, and I'm nobody.

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              • #8
                Re: Advice for a newbie...

                that quote in context means so much more, as it was moments after reading your screenplay dp. carry on good fella, cherrio, hoist a barly one for me. you glasgow boys are tipsy turvy.

                vig

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                • #9
                  Re: Advice for a newbie...

                  I dunno what the hell you just said but I was unaccountably aroused.

                  -Derek
                  Derek's Web Page - stories, screenplays, novels, insanity.

                  The Absolute Write Ultimate Screenwriting Challenge Contest
                  Rules & Prizes
                  Read the Entries for Task 1
                  Read Task 2 Goals

                  Nobody knows nothing, and I'm nobody.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice for a newbie...

                    Originally posted by ABerat
                    Part of the problem I have is striving for perfection.
                    "Strive for mediocrity in all areas of your life. It's achievable and achieving one's goals is the foundation on which a happy house can be built."
                    William H. Thrilly 7th circa 2002
                    Last edited by billythrilly7; 10-05-2005, 04:05 PM.
                    "Entertaining the world is a full time, up at dawn, never ending siege, the likes of which you will never fully understand."
                    Billy Thrilly 2005

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                    • #11
                      Re: Advice for a newbie...

                      Kick the critical dude out of the room and finish your script.

                      *Then* bring the critical dude back in and rewrite it.

                      Much of what you are doing may be pointless work because by the time you finish the script you may not even need that scene.

                      - Bill
                      Free Script Tips:
                      http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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                      • #12
                        Re: Advice for a newbie...

                        Originally posted by ABerat
                        Part of the problem I have is striving for perfection. I will write a section and then spend a considerable amount of time thinking/inventing ways of improving it.
                        I have the same instinct. Ignore this instinct. Drown it with a beer or distract it with tv playing in the background. Both have worked for me and I'll be trying espresso soon, I suspect. This is the most important rule for people like us:

                        The first draft is called the first draft for a reason! Write first, then rewrite!

                        When I start writing for the day, I may tinker with the scene I wrote yesterday, just to get going, but even that's a bad habit. Trust me, anything sloppy will still be there when you get back to it. But if you don't have a finished product you're going to keep beating yourself up. Suck it up, face the lion with the bad tooth, and get it done.

                        And when all else fails, remind yourself of the immortal wisdom of Mark Twain: "The first draft of anything is sh*t."

                        Let us know how it goes!
                        "The intrepid Spaceman Spiff is stranded on a distant planet! Our hero ruefully acknowledges this happens fairly frequently." Calvin & Hobbs

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                        • #13
                          Re: Advice for a newbie...

                          i wouldn't call it a bad habit, plowing through a first draft isn't always good. i think it was leo who said when he goes back the next day he starts out from the begining.

                          i do the same thing, i start from the begining and rewrite and the story becomes more defined as i go. however, i don't spend as much time as i did before and i do know go ahead and write the second act and third.

                          vig

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                          • #14
                            Re: Advice for a newbie...

                            Keep everything. Just don't use all of it in every draft. But someday you'll run into someone who really likes it, but wants THIS done THAT way, and if you already have THIS and THAT at home in a binder, it saves a lot of time.
                            It's not just a forest: it's a whole bunch of different trees

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                            • #15
                              Re: Advice for a newbie...

                              Writing is rewriting. There are no golden drafts. Get used to it.

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