How many projects can a screenwriter juggle??

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    "I ususally juggle projects, however, I couldn't do that while I was writing this mystery novel. That was really hard, and I found I had to just focus on THIS draft, alone."

    found this interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    obviously you've lost passion for your story. putting it to one side and moving onto something else or just taking a break is a good idea IF it gives you the inspiration to begin work on your story again. your story must mean something to you, i mean you had passion enough to start writing it, so putting it away for a while is fine, but putting it it away and never finshing it would be a waste of your so much hard work. and seriously there's so much to learn from finishing a script and finishing it well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Always stick to one project at a time. Doing more than one project only deludes your primary focus and gets you into the habit of being an indiscipline writer.

    This is why it is so important that you write what your most passionate about so that during those days when you feel like heaving the script you will remember that you love the idea that your working on.

    Desmas

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Half finished scripts just suck energy IMO.
    I would agree... but I'm too tired.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Myself I tend to prefer working on one at a time, and getting it finished always. Half finished scripts just suck energy IMO.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    From what I can garner from my past projects and speaking with friends who are also writers, my belief is that whether or not you can and should juggle more than one project at a time is highly personal: it works well for other people and is no good for others. It has worked very well for me at times.

    So I'd suggest figuring out a little more of why you want to put aside the script. Do the ideas just need more time to mature? If so, maybe it's good to set the script aside--or to do "forced maturation" by brainstorming about whatever you need to write next or may need to change in order to keep going.

    I get a lot of mileage out of sitting down at a computer and beginning to type something like "How does Mack feel about his girlfriend? Well, he's really attracted to her, but he doesn't trust her. Doesn't trust her? Why not? Well, she keeps avoiding the subject of the goldfish, and she buys everything in cash. Really? Why does she do that?" And so on. Very often when I do this, I get to a point where I have an exciting realization about the story and can't wait to get back to writing it. Sometimes I have to backtrack to fix or change some things, sometimes I have to make editing notes so I can change what's written later, and sometimes I can just continue from what I've already got.

    Regarding putting down a project, my own experience--and this may be different from yours--is that if I lose interest in a project it's almost always because I've gone down the wrong path somewhere recently. I backtrack until I've found the thing that makes the story boring, figure out what went wrong, come up with something better, and continue from there. If I'm not excited about the story, it's unlikely (though theoretically not impossible) that other people won't be either. And usually "not excited" means that I've driven the story into a swampy area and out of the main flow of the river.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    plowing through

    I found myself stuck at several points on script #4 (of 5 so far). Around page 25 I realized that I'd gotten into a scene that was completely cliched and fake -- I was writing it based on other similar movies. So I did a bunch more research and found a detailed description of the real world location where my scene takes place, the people who worked there, etc. Armed with this info, I was able to move forward. And at other places in the script where the same thing happened, I again did the research, found the details I needed, and went on.

    But the first draft was still a total piece of crap. Some major characters didn't have NAMES, let alone distinctive characteristics, and a lot of the dialogue was truly awful -- exposition on a plate. I was just plowing through trying to get the major plot points on paper.

    But once I sweated bullets and bitched and moaned to create that first draft, the revisions were much more enjoyable.

    Many, many drafts later, this is the script that helped me get an agent and will (I hope) be my first one on the market.

    I stuck with it because several people (including pros)told me it was a great concept, I BELIEVED it was a great concept, and my husband (who helped me come up with the concept) kept bugging me to write it.

    Another thing: I figured that if I wanted to be a pro, there would be any number of times that I'd have to slog on despite doubts and difficulties, and that this would be good practice.

    L.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I find it funny how common it is for a new writer to butcher a great premise then throw the script away because they didn't think it was a "marketable" idea and blame the premise instead of the writing.
    By marketable, I meant execution, not premise. If you know that your writing is fast and loose by design, with the goal simply of finishing, then you aren't throwing the idea away.

    I know writers who spend years agonizing over the same story or making false start after false start but never finishing. I think there is definite value in completion of a project, even if it isn't perfect. The sense of accomplishment can carry a writer forward through the tough times. "I finished that one screenplay, so I know I can finish this one. That one wasn't so good, but I know what I did wrong and can fix it in this one." A completed draft can be rewritten, but it's still a completed first draft. Getting so bogged down by technique that it freezes your creativity benefits no one. There's a big difference psychologically between saying that you've completed a screenplay but decided that it isn't to the point where you'd like to try to sell it and saying that you've set it aside and plan to someday maybe go back and finish it but having that someday always hanging over your head.

    My answer would have been different if it was a case of a writer who had completed five screenplays and was stuck on one, but that doesn't seem to be the case. (Excuse me if I assumed wrong.) If you know from experience that you will eventually come back to the idea, then I can imagine it not inspiring guilt. But, in this case, it seems like it might.

    Also, if it was a matter of working for a couple of weeks on an idea and deciding to set it aside for other projects, I could understand. However, spending a year working on something and hesitating to complete it sounds more like first script insecurity to me. Or early script insecurity. I believe that, until you know you can do it, the fear that maybe you won't be able to can keep you from completing something that may actually be a good story. And that fear can pop up again halfway through the second script and the third script and the fourth script.

    Personally, I juggle several projects at once, but I'm used to it and am able to set aside thoughts about everything but the one I'm working on at the moment. I have a good sense of how much I can give to each project, but it's something I've developed over years of nonfiction writing, out of necessity. Focusing on one story at a time can be very nice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I don't know about other people, but I have to be in the mood to write a particular genre. I have been working on a horror script for a while and at the moment, I am more into action movies and am thinking of starting the action script idea that I have been pondering over. But I also have an unfinished psychological thriller script that I am kinda into at the moment.

    I think it's better to finish what you're working on and then move on, because you can always go back and change your finished script. And most people would rather edit a finished script than finish an unfinished one. At least I would.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm working on two screenplays with my writing partner and polishing up one of my own. No problema.

    And, my partner and I often get bursts of inspiration for the script other than the one we are currently on and sometimes we get great ideas for new screenplays and we might keep the ideas as just ideas or we may outline them and flesh them out a bit before putting them aside to go back to what we were working on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I ususally juggle projects, however, I couldn't do that while I was writing this mystery novel. That was really hard, and I found I had to just focus on THIS draft, alone.

    Now that the draft is done, and it is sitting in the drawer, I can go back to working on a couple other scripts and short stories.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The Coen Bros said they got stuck while writing "Miller's Crossing", put it aside to write "Barton Fink", then came back reinvigorated to complete "M.C.". Both movies are among their finest.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    When I am in that position, I just finish it, even if the last pages are absolute crap. At least I can say I finished it. Then I put it away for a little while, start something new, and eventually go back to it. I find that the worse my pages are, the more motivated I am to rewrite. Or, get an interview with the person you want the script to get to and then take that inspiration and go with it .

    I can juggle one script and calculus. Without calculus, I can juggle two. I try not to take it any further than that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    TylerGred,

    I recently completed a supernatural thriller. I originally came up with the storyline at least ten years ago and wrote out an outline for it. Life got in the way for quite a number of years, and when I started writing again, I wrote three other projects while the thriller sat on the shelf. Then about a year ago, I started working on the thriller. During the time I was getting back into the storyline...I made a major change in the location of where it takes place....(it was originally L.A. and I changed it to San Francisco)...all of a sudden I got ideas that I never had in the original story...it was a good thing that I didn't write the original story, because what I came up with years later turned out to be so much better.

    The storyline had much more depth than my original idea....I took it in a different direction that made it a supernatural thriller rather than the murder mystery that it would have been.

    What I'm trying to say is...the concept I came up with for the storyline was not even in my consciences years ago. And my story was better for it. I became very passionate about it and was able to complete it. I am currently adapting the screenplay into a novel at the suggestion of a director that is currently reading the script.

    Sometimes it is not worth forcing it...writing is passion and if you are not passionate about a project, don't do it! Let it simmer a while.

    Jimb

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Just get it done and move on

    "Enjoy your life. It'd suck if you turned writing into an actual job." -APW

    Boy, is there truth in that statement.

    I have seen people, who previously enjoyed writing, make themselves sick inside by being forced to write for a steady (small) paycheck. Their work was never as good as when it was a labor of love.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X