Posts tagged now write!
Posts tagged now write!
Make a comprehensive inventory of all the practices and idiosyncrasies that define your writing process. The following is a very incomplete list of questions you may ask yourself:
- What time of day do you most like to work?
- Do you set deadlines for yourself?
- Do you write in long sittings or in short bursts?
- Do you work in total isolation or in public places?
- Do you initially write in longhand or on a computer?
- Do you work off an outline?
- If you do use an outline, how often do you diverge from it?
- Do you write with a partner?
- Do you frequently bounce ideas off of others?
- Do you always start at the beginning?
- Do you keep a journal?
- Is your writing frequently autobiographical?
- Do you only write scenes you’ve already thought through and outlined?
- Do you ever work on two projects at once?
- What do you do when you take a break?
- Do you work from source material?
- When you get stuck, do you plow through, skip ahead to something else, or give up?
- Do you constantly edit or rewrite passages before moving on?
- How much time do you spend thinking about your project when you’re not writing?
- Do you write when sober?
The resulting set of personality traits form the DNA signature of your process. The next step is a set of experiments to challenge each trait, one at a time, to determine whether it’s a vital part of who you are as a writer or a rut you’ve dug yourself into along the way. If you’ve never set deadlines for yourself, try spending an eight-hour day with a deadline at the end of each hour. If you always start writing at page one, try starting in the middle.
Many experiments will confirm that what you’ve always done is helpful to you. But you may also surprise yourself. The goal is to get closer to finding what works for you. It’s an ongoing process with no real end point. We’re all constantly evolving as writers, which means our processes evolve as well. But the better you know yourself, the more what makes you unique will end up on the page.
The above was written by Alexander Woo as a part of Now Write! Screenwriting: Screenwriting Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, available at Amazon.com for $10.91.
Purchase a copy for more ways to better prepare yourself with simple activities for Script Frenzy!