Michael wrote, asking: “I’ve just started writing a feature screenplay. How many pages should I write each day?”
Every writer has to find what works best for himself. The advice I usually give is to write something every single day. Rain or shine, night or day, in sickness or in health, even if it’s a third of a page, get something down on paper.
As for myself, every day I do something that brings me closer to my goal of getting a project completed. Even if it’s just notes, I get something done. If I’m working on a first draft of a screenplay (which is usually handwritten), I’ll typically spend 3-4 hours a day cranking out pages. At that pace, it’s not unusual for me to complete that first draft in about a week.
There are times when the going is a bit slower. Maybe some days I’ll work for just an hour a day and that first draft takes a few weeks longer. However long it takes is how long it takes. I’m happy as long as I’m getting something done on a consistent basis. But do what works best for you.
By the way, I don’t necessarily believe in setting a page-per-day quota. If I tell myself, “Today I’m gonna write fifteen pages,” and then I only write six, am I supposed to beat myself up over it? No way! Don’t you dare do that to yourself. Look, getting a script written can be difficult enough; there’s no need to make it even more difficult. So, my advice here: no quotas. Just get into the habit of writing something every day.
Every day until you get it done.
Bit by bit.
You’ll get there.
Probably quicker than you expect.
Thanks for the question, Michael. Good luck!
So last night I was once again out with my friend Craig. Late in the evening we stopped for a refreshment at a restaurant/bar in Beverly Hills. As usual, I had a cranberry juice, and Craig had...well, something that smelled like paint thinner. Anyway, there was a large table near us with about twenty people seated at it. Among them was actress Tia Carrere (True Lies, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”). Let me tell ya, she’s a nice lookin’ lady. Then another familiar face showed up: Francis Fisher (Titanic, and Clint Eastwood’s ex-girlfriend). Judging by the way she was being treated by everyone (and by how she was treating them), she seems to be an absolutely lovely woman. And oh, speaking of lovely: Earlier in the evening, Craig and I were at another restaurant, having something to drink, chatting away about this crazy WGA strike, and we kept noticing these unbelievably gorgeous young women walking up the stairs in front of us. One, then another, then another, then another. They just kept coming! I mean, we’re used to seeing gorgeous women at this particular establishment, but even this was a bit much. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you.) Anyway, we asked our bartender, “So what’s going on here?” He told us, with a big grin on his face, “Victoria’s Secret is holding a little party upstairs.” Yup, I guess that’d explain it. Only in La La Land, folks.
There’s a new trailer for House at the End of the Drive. See it here: