First Draft Done

One down.
I’ve completed my first original full length screenplay. In this case “completed” means that I’ve finished one terrible first draft and that it has many more drafts to go before it could be considered “good”. Still, I’m pretty proud of it.
As this was my first original script (I have previously completed a page-one* rewrite for a competition), it seems only fitting to look back and figure out what I’ve learned, what I’ve botched, and what the hell I thought I was doing. Not necessarily in that order.
I’ll be posting my “Lessons Learned” over the next week. Hopefully they’ll prove useful/insightful/distracting to even non-writers.

 

*A page-one rewrite is one in which you take the basic premise (it can be the characters, the setting, dialogue, whatever) and then go back to page one and just write your own version of things. In that case I kept the setting, the premise, added some characters, added some action scenes, and changed almost every single line of description and dialogue. It was just easier than hacking away.

Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. […] O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right – and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain – or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? […] You can check it … but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

Stephen King

{from the inspirational ‘Advice to Writers’ site}