My thanks to Rodney of Marietta GA, who writes me this letter:
Hey Sam, :)
...Yeah, I'm pretty new and want to start actually, in the writing area first. I like to use my imagination, but still haven't written my first screen play. The formatting gives me fear, and procrastination stalls, but my goal for the next couple of years is to move to L.A.
At least you've identified the problem!
“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
– Edward Young (1683-1765)
No excuses. You're smart and young, the problem is thinking you have a lot of time. The fact is, none of us knows how much time we have, only that it's going away every second. Get going!
Screenplay work is the easiest work there is, and among the highest-paying, if you work at it. All you need is a pencil and paper. Let somebody else type it in, or you can, of course.
The good thing is, you work when you want to. The bad thing is, most persons (including writers) don't want to, and they spend a whole lot of time "getting ready."
Moving to LA is nice, but it's even better to have a job ready for you when you get there, or at least something to sell.
That means start writing NOW. You can write from anywhere. When your scripts are done, all it takes to get them to people who buy scripts is some stamps.
Formatting? No problem. Get software. I use Final Draft, but just as good (and FREE) for any computer is celtx.
Download it, install it, and write something. Anything. If you write a word, I guarantee you'll write some more. The only way to learn to write, is to WRITE!
Classes and books are good, (for people selling classes and books), but reading is reading, talking is talking, thinking is thinking, and only "writing" is writing. It's the only thing that makes you a better writer, too.
If you must have a book, spend $10 measley dollars, and buy my friend Viki King's book, "How To Write A Screenplay In 21 Days." It's good, and it really works.
I write from an outline. I jot down scenes and lines I see and hear in my head, and then sort out the order they happen in, later.
I spend the most time getting the story to work, before I write any scenes or dialogue, I put that part off as long as possible.
When I finally start writing what people do and say, it bursts forth in a flood, and I write as fast as I can, until it's done. I don't write any better slowly.
Don't ever re-write until you're done with the whole thing, or you'll never finish. Re-writing is a trap to avoid. So is "getting ready."
Good luck! Write any time, I'm your friend in Hollywood.
Best to you,
secret film school
© 2007 Sam Longoria, All Rights Reserved