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Thursday, July 14, 2011

I've read new writers should keep a LIST of story ideas.

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I think I said in an online discussion group, that ONE completed script is just not enough.

One of the things I strongly encourage my students to do BEFORE they try to sell a completed script is to have more than one completed. I always urge my students to create a portfolio of their scripts - just like an artist wouldn't have only ONE PAINTING to sell. They'd have several.... to show they were serious about their work. The same principal applies to screenwriting.

So, to further this idea - one of the first things you can do before you start writing any script is to start making notes of story ideas that appeal to you! Have a little notebook or a file folder for keeping these ideas - just toss them in and let them accumulate. Soon you will start finding stories everywhere!! This practice trains your brain to SEE the story in nearly anything.... and that's what you want.

Start that process of collecting ideas today and continue it while you’re working on your current script. You’ll find this is a nifty way to defuse your brain’s built in propensity to get you to ‘switch tracks’ right in the middle of a project. It’s a similar process to keeping a script journal while you write. Every time your LEFT brain nags you about a FIX it wants to take time to do - you write it down. Your left brain is acknowledged, so your RIGHT brain can continue to be creative!

Once you’ve completed your current script; make some notes in your journal about what you want to FIX and set it aside. Now’s the time to wade through those story ideas you’ve been setting aside. Choose one and start to flesh it out. By the time you have 2 or 3 scripts written for your portfolio you can slow the writing process down to outlining the story and then creating a 5 or 10 page treatment for several others. NOW, you’re ready to begin to market your first script. The most chilling producer comment in the world isn’t NO; it’s what ELSE have you got! Especially, if you ain’t got nuttin else!


I hope that helps. And I wish you luck with your screenplay. Let me know when you’ve completed your script. I’d love to read your work!