Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Talkback: New Year's Resolutions

With a new year often comes the determination to make this year "the year I ________," with that blank being filled in with goals along the lines of "get an agent," "sell a script," "get on staff" or "sleep with Blake Lively." (Statistically, that last one is about on par with the other three, and just so I'm not misunderstood, that's not a joke implying rampant promiscuity on the part of the lovely Miss Lively.)

Anyway, last year I had the goal of writing three scripts and getting repped. In truth, I got about one and a half scripts done, and still have yet to get repped. This year I'm going to be stricter with my deadlines. I have a February 8th deadline with my writing group for the first draft of my latest spec. Right now, I've got the first act written, so I'm left with about five weeks to write another sixty pages. It's doable, or at least it would be - if I had a full treatment.

(Yeah, you read that right. I'm breaking one of my cardinal rules about how you should never start a screenplay without a solid plan. This is an experiment in how well I can structure the story as I go, with only a vague outline to work from. I'm sure that by the time I get around to sending this out, it will have been rewritten and restructured many times, but I wanted to attempt this sort of writing at least once.)

Anyway, my goal is to have the first draft done by Feb 8, a second draft done by March 15, third draft by April 12, and then (hopefully) a final draft by May 1. ("Final draft" might be a misnomer... let's call it a "Draft suitable for submitting.")

By the end of this year, I want at least two new marketable feature specs, at least one or two new short films, and perhaps a new TV pilot. Oh, and I want an agent too.

So which seems more attainable - those, or dubbing 2010 "The Year We Make Contact (with Blake Lively?)"

So tell me, what are your New Years Resolutions with regard to your writing goals?


  1. LOVE reading your goals for 2010, Bitter Script Reader. You really sound motivated. Hope this is the year for you to sell some of your work.

    You and I sound like we're in the same boat right now. I too am writing a spec in about the same place you are: ACT I looking solid. Working on ironing out ACT II and III in an outline/quasi-script (when writing an outline I often find I'm basically just writing a rough draft).

    The sci-fi thriller script I'm working on is pretty dark. When I'm done with this story I'm really looking forward to a change of pace project. Might write a light-hearted animated movie, OR start the adaptation of an epic fantasy novel I wrote, 1995-2003. I had HOPED to adapt that with a girlfried AFTER I had broken in as a screenwriter, and had some $$ in the bank and could write it with her in some romantic cottage somewhere away from the mainstream. Lots of sex mixed in with writing and bonding -- that kind of thing; a male writer's Nirvana. But it looks like that's never gonna happen, so I think I'm just going to write the adaptation on my own. :-(

    Of course I wanna sell something, but so much of that is out of my control. I mean you can't make people on the inside like you. If I could bang out another 2 1/2 scripts this year I'll be happy. (In 2009 I completed 4 feature length spec scripts) Mix in some marketing, and partisipation in some contests. Be open to developling possibilites, and see where that goes.

    More than anything in 2010 I want to get in better shape, find a better ballance between writing and living, and enjoy life more.

    Whether you make it in this industry or not, you need ballance in your life. Burn hard -- BUT don't forget to live a little too.

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  2. I am almost done polishing my full-length stage play. Then I have to revise 2 more stage plays (one of which is a musical). Then I hope to hammer out a film screenplay by the end of 2010. I've been thinking of the story and characters for 1 year but haven't written it out yet, because I'm still struggling with the plot-line. but I think I'm slowly getting there.

    So yeah I just want to write more and more this year.

  3. We're headed for lower and lower budgets it seems, and although the script I'm working on and hope to finish soon is considerably lower budget than my current script in circulation, it's still not true lower budget work, so I'm going to hopefully get done with a low budget sci-fi I'm thinking about by the time 2011 rolls around.

  4. Just wrote out a schedule to finish a first draft in a week! The plan is to start Friday the 8th and finish Friday the 15th. Thanks to unemployment I have the time right now, and I think that kick in teh writing pants is exactly what I need right now. I've been spending way too much time thinking about this one and not writing it.

    After that, I have another concept I want to dive into. But I think I will give myself a little more time for that one, but I hope to have a first draft for that one by May 1st.

  5. + Finish rewrite on Chasing Shadows feature spec, and write two new feature specs.

    + Train myself to "be wrong as fast as you can" (to quote Pixar's Andrew Stanton) on first drafts.

    + Get another short screenplay produced.

    + Sell or option a feature spec.

    Patrick Sweeney
    I Blame Ninjas

  6. I'd actually like to complete three more original spec scripts this year, and another novel.

    It's ambitious, I know ... but doable.

  7. I made an actual project plan with goals and associated deadlines.

    My writing partner and I plan to have a first draft of our next action thriller by early March, and the second draft completed by early April.

    Deadlines are the way to go!

  8. Enter the Nicholl, keep marketing "CLUNKER", and get the wrap on two unfinished scripts.

  9. My goals for '10 are...

    1. Have 3 scripts "suitable for submitting" by yr's end. I have 1 so far, which is currently being read. I'm starting on #2.

    2. Get a manager.

    3. Enter the Nicholl with SP #2.