Have a Plan

Whether you’re writing a short story, a novel, a screenplay, or a short film script, the writing will go quicker if you have a plan. After compiling the ideas for a story, I break those ideas down into story beats. The images and ideas you have for a story will lend themselves to the beginning, the middle or the end.

Sometimes I will outline before I sit down to write. My earliest outlines would be drawings of boxes with the two characters in each scene. Each box would represent a scene. When I outline now I usually include what the characters are trying to accomplish. Continue Reading


Saving Time

Between work, the Internet, friends, family, and all the other distractions in life it can be difficult to find writing time. When I’m working on a larger writing project like a novel or feature length screenplay I get in the habit of working on it during lunch and the first hour after I am finished with my regular job. 

I usually spend three to four weeks preparing ground work before diving into one of these projects. This includes character bios, plot outlines, and everything I do to get ready for a big project.

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Building the Foundation

After I find an idea that I’m really interested in pursuing I start building a foundation for the story. This applies to a short story or a short script. I’ve found that brainstorming around an idea can be very helpful. For example, in collaborating with a couple of other filmmakers I needed to develop a suspense / thriller script. I pitched a number of ideas to the filmmaking team and they were interested in an idea for a psychological thriller. I never wrote that type of script before. After the pitch meeting I didn’t really know where to start, so I found some writing time and put on one of my favorite albums from the band, Godflesh.

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