Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

What I’m Learning As I Go

After not having written any pages in the previous three days, I have had a nice little burst recently.  I banged out four pages and upgraded my outline.  My first script I wrote ten years ago I remember only listing my scene titles.  My second script two years ago came about after having read Michael Hauge’s book “Writing Screenplays that Sell” and Syd Field’s “Screenplay.” Both of these books were instrumental towards my first endeavor into trying to understand structure.  I utilized the notecard technique when outlining the second script.  At the time it did help me see my scenes and organize them properly to insure the story was moving forward.

Here I am now, twenty pages into screenplay number three and am still tweaking my outline.  Christopher Vogler’s work with his book, “The Hero’s Journey,” has always spoken to me.  So my outline this time around follows the Hero’s path.  While this has provided me initial direction, I have learned through other struggles to never become content or complacent, but rather to always be looking for or at least aware of a better way.

As of recent, when I’m feeling stuck or unmotivated, I turn to the blogs.  Balls of Steel by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman at Scriptmag.com has been my go-to source of inspiration and guidance.  It was this post of her’s that led me to a post made by another scriptmag.com blogger, Brad Johnson.  His Spec in the City post about sequencing was exactly what I needed at the moment that I needed it.  This five part post on sequencing and how to keep the story moving and the audience interested was a gold mine of information! Bouncing between the posts, my outline, and my script, I’ve written four pages in the last 24 hours!

Writers write.  I honestly believe this now.  Everyone in this community has a blog and there is something to learn from every post made. As I continue to dream and write I am learning a tremendous amount about the craft, about myself as a writer, and how to continue to keep improving everyday.  I sometimes get nervous that I won’t make it as a screenwriter because I wasn’t a film student, I didn’t study writing, heck I wasn’t even an English major! But I know I can write. I have written my fair share of academic research  papers.  Even these need to tell a good story. There is so much information readily available by those that have experienced both success and failures at screenwriting that feel as though I’m going to film school every time I read a screenwriter’s blog.  Have a question for the professor? Follow them on twitter, introduce yourself, and start a conversation.  Go to their website and find their email address and write to them. I have yet to find a screenwriter or reader who, when given respect and courtesy, isn’t willing to answer a couple of questions regarding their work and their craft.  If only Will Hunting had Twitter and a blog back in the 90’s he could have saved himself that $1.50 in late fees at the public library! Every time a fellow screenwriter answers a question or shares an insightful post my anxieties of not having a writing background begin to fade. I only hope that someday I am able to pay it forward all the same.

As I mentioned in my initial post, I am writing this blog to be held accountable for my efforts and progress towards my goals.  After a dry week of writing I am pleased with the progress I’ve made the past couple of days.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts. If it’s been too long between posts please give me that virtual kick in the rear to get me going. Accountability. Leave me a message here or follow me on twitter @mcorcoran15.  I would love to hear from the experts as well as those who are on a similar journey of their own.