NEW YEAR, NEW SCRIPT
If you start working on a new script right now, with the intention of writing one page per day, you will have a brand new completed full-length screenplay in hand by the end of April. If you write one page per day every day of 2023 then by this time next year you will have three (and maybe four) scripts.
One page per day is very do-able. This is because if you know that you are going to be writing that page, throughout the day you’ll be thinking about that page. You will have thought about that page so much that, when you actually sit down with the script, the writing process will be just the typing. Typing a page of script, when you know what you’re going to write, takes maybe 15-20 minutes. And that’s with dwelling over the wording factored in.
If you have a day job, school, kids, etc. you can still find 15-20 minutes to write one page. If you did not want to write a screenplay, you wouldn’t be reading this article on this site. Thus, the desire is there, and so is the ability. After that, it’s nothing but the doing. And keep in mind that every day screenplays are written by people with jobs, school, kids, all of the above.
You might get into a script and realize the story requires more thought or research. That’s fine; give it thought while working on another script. Or just power through the first one and work out the flaws on the page. An imperfect script that is completed is of infinitely more value than an incomplete or non-existent script.
Perhaps you have been slugging it out on endless rewrites of a script, trying to get it to snap into place. Again, that’s fine; but you might find some new energy in jumping into something brand new. Stepping away from one script to work on another can give your subconscious the space it needs to make the first one work. Dreams and idle thought are invaluable tools in the writing process.
Let’s say you start a script today. You’re writing a page a day. As the work progresses, it often gathers momentum. You might have to stop yourself at just the one page. That’s a good sign. Stop only if you want; if there are more pages to be written, and you have the time, then write them. That way, you buy yourself days off in case they’re actually needed, if 15-20 minutes really does become an issue. But don’t do that too often. One page a day is easier than seven pages once a week.
Watch movies, and read. Screenwriting is about translating the written word to the shootable page. This requires an understanding of two media working in tandem. Each book you read and film you watch is a new “word” in your screenwriting vocabulary.
A screenwriter writes screenplays. In 2023, are you going to be a screenwriter?