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A Screenplay a Month

First off, I hate it when people do those "I'm back" posts, so this line is as much as you're getting.

So I heard this story (I think it's true, but who really cares) about a pottery class. The professor, as an experiment, split the class into two groups: one group would be graded at the end of the semester solely based on one pot. They could spend the entire semester working on just that one pot, making it as cool as possible.

The second group would be graded solely based on how many pots they'd made. Big or small, basic or decorated didn't matter; all that mattered was the number.

At the end of the semester, all of the best, most well designed, most intricate and most creative pots had been made by the second group. The moral of the story is kind of "practice makes perfect," but it's also kind of more than that: it's that no, really, practice makes perfect.


A similar story, this one definitely true, from Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers talked about when he was young and fancied himself a songwriter. He'd written a couple songs that he thought were pretty good, so he went to a professional songwriter friend to show them to him. The friend said, "Oh, hey, these are pretty good. Come back to me when you have a barrelfull."

Mr. Rogers was kind of upset about that at first, but the older he got, and the more songs he wrote, the more he realized this guy was right: he was only really writing his best stuff once he'd written a lot of stuff.

So, given my tendencies to be kind of a perfectionist, and work on one screenplay for like two years, I'm going to try to break that instinct and instead write a barrelfull of screenplays: I'm going to write one screenplay a month. This will be a first draft, which I'll probably polish into a final draft over, say, the next two months? That number is a little more negotiable, but I'll try to nail it down soon. In fact, let's just nail it to two months, but I'll let myself change it in the future.

These screenplays may or may not be good when finished; I'm not focusing on quality here. I'm not, like, trying to write garbage - I will be doing my best to write good screenplays, but the time limit comes first. They'll be as good as I can make them in three months.

I've already written my first first draft, which I put on the new "My Screenplays" page, along with everything else I've written. I pounded out that first draft in a week while my wife was out of town, half to give me something to do, and half to make sure I really could do a screenplay in a month (because if I could do one in a week, I could totally do one every month). It was brutal, to say the least, and the result is filled with plot holes and cliches, but I did write a first draft in a week, so I know I can do this.

I also intend on using the blog as more of a writing journal. Like, I'll be here talking about what I'm working on and how it's going. So you'll get to see a little more of my writing process, and I'll have a new way to procrastinate a wall to bounce ideas off of.

As for "A Logline a Day," I'm keeping the title, because I like it, and the idea behind the title still fits with my goals. Plus, I'm gonna keep posting the occasional logline, I think, especially as I'm coming up with new ideas on what to write each month. We'll see what happens.