My apologies for not posting anything in a long while. I’ve been keeping busy with a handful of script projects. I’ve also done a tad bit of traveling. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more in the next week or so. Anyway...
Today, on one of the screenwriting boards I occasionally haunt, someone posed the question: “Why are some people unable to complete a screenplay?” I thought this was a good question. So here’s my take on it:
Reason #1: Some writers stall the completion (or starting) of a script by always being in research mode. They spend months and months compiling information. After filling a few notebooks with all that great research, they feel they’ve done an admirable amount of work, give themselves a pat on the back, and move on to something else.
Reason #2: Most budding writers have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. Once they realize they must come up with page after page after page of material, they become overwhelmed and give up. Hey, that’s fine. I mean, not everyone on the planet has to write screenplays.
Reason #3: Many writers fail to outline. They have the "great" idea, and they write those first thirty pages, but then things just fall apart on them. It’s cuz they didn’t plot out their story and determine if it warranted a 100-page screenplay.
Reason #4: Many people will tell you their life is too busy to write. They’ve got the 9-to-5 job, the significant other, the kids. Sure, I understand. But the fact is, if you really want to write scripts, you’ll find the time. Even if it’s thirty minutes early in the morning before life gets busy. Thirty minutes a day equals 3 ½ hours a week of writing. That’s about fifteen hours a month worth of writing. Are you telling me you can’t get a script completed in six to eight months? Stop making excuses and do it.
Reason #5: Truth is, these people are not really writers. They think they are, they might want to be, but they’re just not. Writing 110 script pages is a daunting task. If your heart isn’t into it completely, you’re more than likely not going to get through it. I liken it to crawling across a burning hot desert, trying to make it to an oasis: if you don’t have fierce will and determination, you’ll conk out and die somewhere in the sand.
Reason #6: Many have a severe lack of patience and are unable to stay focused on one particular story for a long period of time. If you want to write a screenplay, you’re going to be “stuck” with that idea for quite some time, so you’d better be darn enthused about it.
Reason #7: Many wannabes like to give off the impression that they’re working on a hot spec script. You hear them all the time at social gatherings: “I’m working on a screenplay.” Hey, that sounds kinda cool, doesn’t it? Fact is, these people are posers and have no real intention of actually sitting down and writing a script.
Reason #8: Many wannabes get caught up in the “glamour” aspects of screenwriting. They’d get a rush telling people, “So I pitched my script idea this big producer at a lunch meeting last week. He thinks it’s great.” I mean, why actually write the script when you can just tell people about all the big meetings you’ve had on the idea?!
So there you have eight reasons why some budding writers don’t get their scripts written. If any of you have reasons you’d like to add, feel free to post ‘em here in the comments section.
Visit me at http://www.theworkingscreenwriter.com/ -- a site for the pre-pro screenwriter!