#Scriptchat Transcript - Tips for Overcoming Obstacles

Learn from other writers' struggles as we reach out and share advice to help us all succeed! Enjoy! @jeannevb

  1. It’s #SCRIPTCHAT O’CLOCK discussing your biggest struggles & see if others have solutions! Chat here:  http://www.tchat.io/rooms/scriptchat 
  2. Can't believe it's #scriptchat time again... where did the weekend go?
  3. Struggles with... rabid monkeys? Struggles with... that unopened bag of cookies you bought this morning? Struggles with... #scriptchat
  4. I struggle with doing cards... like, getting off my butt and doing them. I know the parts that will BE the cards, mostly... #scriptchat
  5. ...but I don't want to do them. Probably because it's a more time-heavy part of the process (and it's not easy on the back) #scriptchat
  6. Engrossed in the Shonda Rhimes Master Class on TV Writing. Really excellent, practical advice. Struggle: Procrastination #scriptchat
  7. @jeannevb I personally struggle with just finding time to write, and in trying to come up with good dialogue that has subtext. #scriptchat
  8. I've got a lot of other writing work to do, and yet I just can't seem to buckle down and make time to work on a script. #scriptchat
  9. I was just thinking about this recently: How do you write characters who are smarter than you? #scriptchat
  10. @filmwritr4 we did a chat about finding time to write when your schedule is full. Check  http://scriptchat.com  for transcript #scriptchat
  11. It is awesome. She uses Grey's and Scandals for talking points. She says that there is no "right" process. Find your own #scriptchat
  12. @filmwritr4 @jeannevb I break my script down into goals, this character does X, how? Simple questions #scriptchat
  13. Toss out some tips for getting your projects started? Research, outlining, etc. #scriptchat
  14. Something I like to do to help w/ procrastination is set a timer for a doable amount of time for a writing sprint. #scriptchat
  15. It's tough but I try to schedule a consistent time, for me, usually in the morning. Ideas flow better & I'm more inspired #scriptchat
  16. I did a pile of tweets last week on being productive that I plan on RTing tomorrow. #scriptchat
  17. @jeannevb Research is key! But also taking down notes, figuring out how to USE what you're learning in the script #scriptchat
  18. @Al_1701 Research is one of those things you need time for, you can't just fit it in #scriptchat
  19. One trick I found that works great for me is that once I get rolling, I put on heavy duty headphones and blast music. #scriptchat
  20. @blueneumann Do you use any templates/books to help you prepare for your script? #scriptchat
  21. @jeannevb I think it's why you want to research stuff early on in the process #scriptchat
  22. @Chiefscribe1 I intend to do that, but I find the world makes itself scarce when I'm in the zone. #scriptchat
  23. @jeannevb I like asking myself questions on the page and writing out any answers that come to me when dev. my story. #scriptchat
  24. Early research helps you find cool things you didn't even know existed and put them in your story. #scriptchat
  25. @filmwritr4 I use material from @GoIntoTheStory 's "From prep to outline" class, but mostly I just figure out what I need/want #scriptchat
  26. It turns off the other parts of my brain that tend to wander, surf the net, make a cup of coffee. It curbs my ADHD.:) #scriptchat
  27. @jeannevb it's like a dialogue with myself on the page. It allows me to explore various story decisions and their consequences. #scriptchat
  28. @filmwritr4 Figure out what the characters want or need, how to get it, keep it from them, and then the little steps in between #scriptchat
  29. The first half of that was that I put on headphones and blast music once I get rolling. It keeps me focussed. #scriptchat
  30. Talking to people about my ideas. Granted: I don't know any screenwriters, but I can't get through a logline without glazed eyes #scriptchat
  31. @jeannevb @blueneumann Does this include contacting people in the business/industry you're researching? #scriptchat
  32. @jeannevb @blueneumann I've been watching Billions, and all the characters are exceptionally smart. Wondering how to write that. #scriptchat
  33. @wcmartell Agreed! I recently found a cool tidbit of research I was able to incorporate into my script and it felt so rewarding. #scriptchat
  34. @blueneumann If you have any written examples of how you work on a script, I'd be interested in seeing them. Could be helpful #scriptchat
  35. I like doing a stream-of-consciousness writing to just vomit out ideas for the story. It always goes someplace I never expected. #scriptchat
  36. As Mark Twain said: get the fact, then distort them at your leisure. #scriptchat
  37. @jeannevb Yes, often neat to mine free-writing/stream-of-consciousness writing. Fun to be open to unexpected ideas/connections. #scriptchat
  38. @jeannevb I kinda like working like that too. Stream of consciousness frees your mind from logic #scriptchat
  39. I like stream of c too, especially early on when the idea is raw... see how much can be extracted and if it's any goof #scriptchat
  40. "Glazed eyes" can be the way you tell it or the idea. Pitching Pyramid: Title, Genre, logline, character, 3 awesome scenes... #scriptchat
  41. @filmwritr4 if there's something there, you start doing the research and working out the details #scriptchat
  42. Key is to stop when the eyes glaze - because at that point you have lost them. #scriptchat
  43. I also keep a log of interesting names, character ideas, locations, etc so that if I need parts, I have them ready #scriptchat
  44. Pitching isn't telling the whole story, it's getting them interested in reading the screenplay. No scene-by-scene. #scriptchat
  45. Sometimes I struggle with assessing how the story I see in my head is translating to the page/being executed. Feedback helps me. #scriptchat
  46. My problem is figuring how to get my polished script in front of someone who could do something with it, even say it's a turd. #scriptchat
  47. I also keep a folder with random amusing lines of dialogue. When I get stuck, looking through sometimes helps. #scriptchat
  48. @filmwritr4 Yes, in a way. Now I am writing about gangsters from the 30's. I watched Bugsy with Warren Beatty, Annette Benning #scriptchat
  49. When I did manual labor for a living, I used to pitch my stories to co-workers... and if they looked bored I tossed that idea. #scriptchat
  50. I've gotten feedback from several people but none who have ever made a movie. #scriptchat
  51. I listen to their dialogue, research interviews of gangers on Youtube to get a feel for the dialogue. I write ideas down #scriptchat
  52. @Chiefscribe1 Awesome. That's a great way of getting the dialogue/mannerisms right. #scriptchat
  53. You have to put as much effort and creativity into the business side as the writing side. But a good script "travels". #scriptchat
  54. I get feedback from friends, writers, etc. I try to get feedback from actors to see how they read the lines, the flow, #scriptchat
  55. @wcmartell Sounds like a good way to practice and a good way to assess how your pitch/story lands. #scriptchat
  56. You don't have to get it into "the right hands", you just have to get it into someone's hands. #scriptchat
  57. @SarahAlexis4 Are these people you've met in school? At industry events? I love my friends and family, but they're not writers. #scriptchat
  58. I know actors mainly through DC film festivals (Short Film Festival, Script DC) and I am a member of Stage 32. #scriptchat
  59. @Chiefscribe1 Table reads are great. That's one of the best ways to both get feedback, and to find out how the dialogue plays #scriptchat
  60. Sometimes I'd pitch the script as "a film I saw a test screening of" starring Mathew Modine (which dates this). Marky Mark now. #scriptchat
  61. @SamSquamchman Yes, mostly writer friends I met in college or others I met in writing groups I've been part of. #scriptchat
  62. I plan on reaching out to more of those folks and am relying on their generosity and time to read my stuff. #scriptchat
  63. One thing I do, I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but I tend to mentally cast my scripts as I write... #scriptchat
  64. ...to get a feel for attitude, dialogue and so on. But I've been struggling lately with casting the guy roles... #scriptchat
  65. @thejasonbee LOL Thanks. By the way, I'm in a weekly screenwriters' chat called #scriptchat. Use the hashtag and come on over, if you'd like.
  66. ...so I guess I just have to expand my pool of reference #scriptchat
  67. @SarahAlexis4 What do you think about paying for feedback? I did it a few times, but what I got back was superficial & unhelpful #scriptchat
  68. @SamSquamchman you have to find the right person. I've paid for shitty notes, but I've also paid for amazing ones @SarahAlexis4 #scriptchat
  69. @wcmartell Any general insight, if there was any, that you were able to take away from pitching your scripts like that? #scriptchat
  70. I'm with Issac. I'm concerned I suck but can't find good feed back telling me I suck. #scriptchat
  71. @jeannevb @SamSquamchman Yeah, I was going to say, I think it probably depends on the person/resource you're receiving them from #scriptchat
  72. @mikerogers00001 Or more importantly, WHY you appear to suck. What you're not doing and how to do it #scriptchat
  73. @SamSquamchman - Don't really have insight to share although most of the writers I know echoed your negative experience. #scriptchat
  74. @mikerogers00001 @SamSquamchman you can also get a handful of friends to read your scripts & see if they call out same problems #scriptchat
  75. @SamSquamchman I wish I could. I'm juggling multiple jobs right now, so I literally have no spare time. #scriptchat
  76. Frustrating to hear “this is pretty good” but no words suggesting forward movement… #scriptchat
  77. In terms of meeting other writers, has anyone had success with that at pitch fests or film festivals? Tactics for connecting? #scriptchat
  78. Free is my favorite price - so find people online to swap scripts with. You'll get good notes and terrible ones... #scriptchat
  79. But if everyone has a problem understanding some element or scene or whatever, that's an issue. #scriptchat
  80. @SamSquamchman I've met a ton of writers at conferences & pitchfests. That's who @zoeyrose and I first met. #scriptchat
  81. @jeannevb @mikerogers00001 @SamSquamchman Meaning that if someone tells you there's a problem with one/more areas of the script #scriptchat
  82. Talentville is a good place to get feedback for free. You earn credits towards reads when you give notes #scriptchat
  83. @jeannevb @mikerogers00001 @SamSquamchman If multiple people spot problems with one/more areas, you need to take notice. #scriptchat
  84. Start with your friends, even though they're not pros and then check out forums. You want to get people's emotional feedback?. #scriptchat
  85. If you lose everyone's interest around the same place, also something that you can deal with. #scriptchat
  86. @jeannevb @mikerogers00001 @SamSquamchman On the other hand, if they say that one or more areas of your script works, listen #scriptchat
  87. @jeannevb That's a helpful tactic for me too. If a few people give same note/issue I'll definitely take a look at the root of it #scriptchat
  88. The problem with "amateur notes" is that often people have strong opinions on how things are supposed to be done - and wrong. #scriptchat
  89. So try to do it in a live setting. Do they laugh or does your work evoke some emotion. It can be structurally unpolished #scriptchat
  90. @wcmartell That's one thing I can't stand - feedback that comes across like people are telling me how to write/what to write. #scriptchat
  91. That's why you need to read a big stack of scripts and do what they all do, but not what only one does. #scriptchat
  92. @filmwritr4 @wcmartell Yeah, where were those people when you were figuring OUT what to write? Nowhere, that's where #scriptchat
  93. @blueneumann @wcmartell Exactly. I mean, I appreciate general feedback/suggestions on how to improve my script... #scriptchat
  94. @blueneumann @wcmartell ...but not any feedback/suggestions that comes across like it's telling me what/how to write. #scriptchat
  95. Had readers suggest changing a character's action in one scene but the suggestions would go against the character's character. #scriptchat
  96. @jeannevb Thanks! I'm stuck up here in the Pacific Northwest, do you know of any good festivals/conferences in WA or OR? #nocash #scriptchat
  97. @dwacon That's a pass. Just move on to the next. They kill you with kindness... #scriptchat
  98. Anyone else struggle with 'the grass is always greener' on the other story I'm plotting? #scriptchat
  99. Thanks Chris. I am just finishing up my third feature screenplay. It gets to the point where you wonder if you should keep pushing out material, if it's all no good. #scriptchat
  100. One of the problems is that everyone says nice things to you when they mean "no", and it's easy to think they mean "yes"... #scriptchat
  101. @blueneumann Committing to one and seeing it through before I move onto something else. #scriptchat
  102. @jolenejahnke yes! But I think it's good to have more than one project going at once. (And so glad to see you back!!) #scriptchat
  103. @jolenejahnke Oh for sure, my moods can shift but I always try to make sure to have a plan of attack for when my mood shifts #scriptchat
  104. If you are one of those positive thinking people, you can latch onto the praise and imagine them buying your script... #scriptchat
  105. @jolenejahnke I try to know the next steps to take in each project so that when the mood strikes I'm not playing catch-up #scriptchat
  106. @mikerogers00001 make sure you also check out our website. We have about 9 years worth of transcripts!  http://scriptchat.com  #scriptchat
  107. @jolenejahnke Yes, though at the moment I'm trying to only WORK on one thing at a time, even if I'm taking notes for another #scriptchat
  108. But that's a trap. I always think they really mean no, so on those rare occasions when they mean yes, it's a positive experience #scriptchat
  109. Since I do a lot of notebook writing and it takes a couple of days for stuff to be transcribed, I have to switch around a bit #scriptchat
  110. @jolenejahnke yeah, have to fight the urge to start something new before finishing the current thing all the time #scriptchat
  111. If I have a new idea, I can't really stop thinking about it, so I have to get as much of it out as I can. #scriptchat
  112. @SamSquamchman The people I've met through here have been a good resource for feedback. #scriptchat
  113. I'll let that sit and maybe it'll turn into something, maybe not. But I try to never toss away an idea #scriptchat
  114. @filmwritr4 Yes - and I got walking pneumonia. Two scripts with similar deadlines and production start dates. Sleep? #scriptchat
  115. The problem with stacking is that when you're hot you're hot and you worry that no one will ever hire you again. #scriptchat
  116. @collinlieberg Trying to work on multiple projects at the same time...i.e. writing a draft of one script, rewriting another... #scriptchat
  117. #scriptchat One thing I know I am not doing effectively or efficiently rewriting my drafts. I feel I should be accomplishing more than I am in rewrite. This is where I no I am lacking some tools
  118. @filmwritr4 I think @blueneumann does that. I'm trying to do one thing at a time, then pivot to a different project when done #scriptchat
  119. @blueneumann Yeah, it's interesting how sometimes an idea will come back around in another form and/or at another time... #scriptchat
  120. I do one script at a time, but alternate drafts when rewriting... when no one is paying me. #scriptchat
  121. @SarahAlexis4 I had an ide seven years ago, and picked a song for the climax and last month I finally figured out what it was #scriptchat
  122. @collinlieberg @blueneumann I think it's best for me to focus on one project, rather than multiple projects... #scriptchat
  123. Finished a second draft of my new sci-fi pilot! Can't wait to unwrap this one. What are you working on? #amwriting #screenwriting #scriptchat
  124. One thing I like about juggling projects is sometimes one idea in one will kickstart an idea in another #scriptchat
  125. How long does it usually take for you guys to do rewrites, and how can you carve out time for doing those? #scriptchat
  126. @jeannevb I really appreciate it. Someday I'll make it to L.A. or Austin, but in the meantime: I'll check that out. Thanks! #scriptchat
  127. @filmwritr4 That's the kicker, brainstorming and so on you can do in pieces... rewriting, like researching, means butts in seat #scriptchat
  128. For this current rewrite, I listed out the issues I was having and if I could solve them #scriptchat
  129. I'm still doing rewrites on scripts from over a decade ago - it depends on the script. Does it work? #scriptchat
  130. f i couldn't solve the issue and had to remove something, I figured out what substance would be removed and how to replace it #scriptchat
  131. Chris I have totally songed my way through a scene or an ending! #scriptchat
  132. For example, this current one has a big political element. Unfortunately politics is shifting so much, it's making life hell #scriptchat
  133. @SamSquamchman you can find conferences all over the world! Writers are everywhere. :) #scriptchat
  134. So I removed all that, figured what parts I could still use and what use those political bits were really serving #scriptchat
  135. Then I used that as a blueprint for a new arc, figured out the chain of events, and what those scenes would be #scriptchat
  136. @blueneumann I just did something similar creating master list of issues I needed to address/questions that still need answers #scriptchat
  137. What I SHOULD do is re-card the movie with that new stuff and see how it flows (but as I said, I don't like doing cards) #scriptchat
  138. F5: OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC! Writing is a roadtrip, how can you be sure you'll get to your destination? $3.99  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078BR44DB/secretsofactions  #amwriting #film #scriptchat
  139. @blueneumann that's why I like Movie Magic. When you create notes, you can see them. You can color code them. It's like stuffing a card into the script. #scriptchat
  140. @filmwritr4 Without doing that... hell, even WITH doing that, it still feels really daunting #scriptchat
  141. When you're WRITING, you're just thinking of scenes and pages. You're thinking small. When you REWRITE, it's 120 pages #scriptchat
  142. @jeannevb @SamSquamchman Don't limit to conferences, film fests often have a writing sidebar - I teach at a bunch. #scriptchat
  143. And keeping an organized work flow as you go along? crucial. I didn't organize a pile of notes for my rewrite and I regret it #scriptchat
  144. One last q: Character name Holly Munro. Good/bad? Been rolling that one around in my head all day #scriptchat
  145. Bewitching hour is here! There's NO CHAT nxt wk bc Super Bowl. Thanks for a great chat, all! Hope you found some tips to help. #scriptchat
  146. Thanks for all of your advice everybody! Good luck with writing this week. #scriptchat
  147. I recently made some "major" changes to a screenplay from repeated notes which I really didn't want to change. It was a name change. Once I made the change, I could have cared less. #scriptchat
  148. @jeannevb As always, thanks for hosting and everyone for chatting and answering questions! #scriptchat
  149. @collinlieberg So do I, but for some reason that "e" decided to drop itself. But the name as a whole..." #scriptchat
  150. (it took me WAY too long to realize that advice was applicable to creative projects) #scriptchat