Monday, January 23, 2012

STEP 6 (Monday, Week 4):

Now you’re structured with a 40-60 scene story based on the idea that was in your head 2 weeks ago and is now a registered treatment. It is now time to write your first draft. It is no longer as intimidating as having an idea and facing 90-120 blank pages.

Start on Tuesday with writing only Scene 1. Spend 15-20 minutes per day. No more. If scene 1 types into 1/2 page or 3 pages it doesn’t matter. Just write Scene 1 and stop. Wednesday write Scene 2. Thursday write Scene 3. I bet that come Friday, now that you’re structured, you are no longer scared of the blank page and actually enjoy writing scene-by-scene. I further bet that you call in sick from work on Friday and stay home and write 10-15 scenes of 20-30 pages. Saturday the same. Sunday, go to church and pray for the ability to have good dialogue and believable characters. Then on Monday (Week 3) you will have your first draft finished in the next 3-4 days.

A first draft is written, step-by-step in 3 weeks, with 6 easy-to-follow steps. Now remember, "Nothing is written; it’s re-written." All that you have is a first draft. Send this, like your treatment, with $20 and have it registered at the Writer’s guild, and start your re-write.

Done. Not sure if I'll be able to reach the suggested top speed of  10-15 scenes a day, but I'll give it a shot. I'm someone who's used to winging it off a very loose outline, but I can see the advantages all this prep work. It's nowhere as restrictive as I imagined. Treatments aren't a total waste of time! Suddenly, Act II seems a little more manageable. They're going to be a standard part of my m.o. from now on. I'll post a progress report in a week... 

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