The biggest antagonist to writing quickly will be self-doubt.
Follow our first two steps of advice on choosing the right genre and testing ideas to KNOW that you’re writing something people want to see.
There’s all kind of advice out there on writing quickly and most of it boils down to this: GET THE FIRST DRAFT DONE FAST.
The step before that is outlining. Go through and use whatever method works best for you-- I use notecards with roughly the amount of scenes I need to plan out all the ups and down the characters will face.
Having a writing partner in this stage can drastically speed things up. Take an afternoon you both have free and commit to finishing that outline in one sitting.
Two brains will be better than one and you’ll keep each other accountable for finishing.
Now you are ready to write the first draft! Set aside a day or two and open up your favorite writing software (I use the free screenwriting software Celtx).
Get rid of as many distractions as you can. Unplug your internet if you have to. Play a soundtrack from a similar movie and start writing.
Don’t waste time making revisions as you go.
Your first draft should be horrible. I know everyone says that, but seriously.
Make. it. bad. Just get everything on the page.
Just keep going until you're utterly burnt out. Take a walk. Eat something. Come back to it before working on anything else.
Obviously this isn’t possible for everyone. If you CAN’T take a few days solely to write or you’re like me and your attention span won’t allow it whatsoever, do as much as you can. Try to write for a solid two hours each morning.
Another piece of advice is to find a writing contest or festival.
The hard deadline will help motivate you to get it done. Setting a deadline for yourself is one thing, but having something like a festival looming over your head will add extra immediacy.
Make sure that writing partner is holding you accountable too.
Tell them how much and how often you’re planning to write so they can check in on you. Tell them to be hard on you if you’re not following through.
The added benefits of a festival will be getting feedback early. This will be important.
Once your draft is done, do as many major edits in the same fashion.
Sit down for a given amount of time to fix spelling errors. To make dialogue better. To cut stuff out. To add references to later items or themes.
Now you’ll have a full screenplay (I never like to say completed). That means you’re starting to have a movie on your hands!
Don’t slow down now! It’s time to put your producer hat on.
The next few posts will talk about LLCs & Taxes, Fun Legal Stuff, Funding, and then we’ll return for MORE revisions to the screenplay.
Remember. Have fun! Let us know what works for you when writing.
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