Many thanks to those who have sent in their questions about screenwriting!
Q: How long should it take me to write an outline?
A: Depending on the story, mine take anywhere from two weeks to two months to sketch out. Once a solid outline has been crafted, the actual scriptwriting process usually proceeds relatively smoothly. Based on my typical writing pace of 2 to 5 hours per day, I usually crank out a workable first draft in 2-6 weeks. Of course, subsequent drafts—which lead the way to the final submission draft—could take a few weeks, to several months longer. But there’s a lot to be said for getting that first draft done. It’s a real psychological boost to have those 100 pages of neatly bound text in your hot little hands. Once this first draft is completed, the subsequent drafts seem far less daunting.
Q: How long should my outline be?
A: Mine generally run anywhere from 25-35 pages. (I recently sent a producer a 46-page outline.) But I’d say nothing less than 15 pages (12 pt. type, single spaced). In my opinion, anything less than about 15 pages just isn’t detailed enough to do you much good. But, as always, see what works best for YOU.
Q: Can my script deviate from the outline?
A: Of course! Changes along the way are inevitable and welcomed. If I could put numbers on it, I’d say 75% of my scripts are based on the outline and 25% are wrought from discovery along the way.MORE Q & A TO COME--SOON!
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