A Gift – Two of My Favourite Screenwriting Blogs

So I feel like I left you guys out to dry with my last blog.  No warning or anyway to anticipate that I was slowing down on  the number of posts. I’m sorry! Here is a gift to give you something to read while I’m gone: two of my favourite screenwriting blogs.

1. Go Into The Story

Go Into The Story is the official blog of The Black List. This relationship is why this blog is so valuable.

Confused Justin Timberlake

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Confused? Context: The Black List is a list (shocking) of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Many scripts for some great films started on The Black List, including The Social Network and The Intimidation Game. This list is complied by surveying about 500 development executives on the best scripts they have read in the previous year.

Having this extensive list (see what I did there?) of contacts gives The Black List some incredible insight into why certain scripts are made into films. Scott Myers shares those details in his blog posts. So if you are looking to sell your script and the business side of Hollywood this blog is for you.

2. Flying Wrestler

If the first blog was all about the business of screenwriting, Flying Wrestler specializes in helping you craft the perfect script. It’s written by a Emmy and Golden Globe award winner, so you can be assured that he knows his stuff. All his posts are easy reads, mostly consisting of lists (like this one).

That was easy shrug

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That’s it! I hope you enjoy reading those blogs until I return.

Until Next Time,

Mr. Struggle



A Gift – Two of My Favourite Screenwriting Blogs

When Technology Fails

I woke up this morning inspired to write. I love those days. It’s when I write the real gold that holds my script together. On days like today, I feel like this:

Basketball player dancing

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Feeling inspired, I booted up my almost decade old MacBook Pro and opened my screenplay software of choice, Final Draft. I was then off to the races. One scene, two scenes, three scenes done in an hour and a half! I was in the zone and flying through my script.

Then boop. My laptop shut off. I quickly pushed the on-button and my computer slowly rebooted. I felt as nervous as those people in the audience during the original Paranormal Activity trailer:

Scared audience in a theatre.

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After what felt like a decade of waiting, my computer was running again. I opened Final Draft and my three new scenes weren’t there. They disappeared like the box office returns for the later Paranormal Activity films. This moment I felt like him again:

GIF: Camera pans closer to Ben Affleck with a sad face. There is a caption on the bottom:

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Clearly, I was too busy writing that I forgot to hit save. I guess this is the risk we take with technology. It can always fail us.

However, I’m not going to stop using a computer or Final Draft to write my scripts. Screenwriting is more than what you write, it’s how your write it. There is specific formatting that you must follow if you want your work to be sold.

“Screenwriting is more than what you write, it’s how your write it. There is specific formatting that you must follow if you want your work to be sold.”

In all honesty,  it would difficult to create this formatting without specific software. So I need Final Draft, Celtx or some other screenwriting program. The computer though, maybe it’s time for a new one.

Until Next Time,

Mr. Struggle

When Technology Fails

Getting Writer Blocked

My writing process is very goal-oriented – I try to write 2 to 5 pages everyday, come up with a new idea once a week and finish a script a month. I need to always be striving towards a goal because I am so easily distracted. My attention span makes the dog from Up look like any hacker in a terrible b-movie.

Old-fashion hacking scene

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Side Note: who remembers Swordfish? Yeah, neither do I.

See! I am not disciplined. This is why I hate writer’s block. When I can’t think of what to write, I miss my deadlines and stop focusing on writing altogether. I recently experienced a serious case of writer’s block that made me feel like this:

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Here’s a little more about my latest battle with a writer’s ultimate nemesis. I was working on a new script about a employee trying to deal with a very corporate boss. I was racing through it. I had the first 25 pages done in a week.

I arrived at a critical scene that kicked off the second act. It was all going good, but I just couldn’t get the scene right. I wasn’t sure how subtle I should make the turn, if I had the right characters in the scene (probably means I need to spend more time differentiating each character) or how the conflict should play out.

I kept coming back to the scene. I rewrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted…

What Feels Like 38.8 Days Later

Rewrote, deleted, rewrote and deleted it again.

It was infuriating. I couldn’t figure out how to beat this writer’s block. I tried a beat sheet to lay out the scene. That idea failed. I bounced ideas off a fellow writer. He was no help. Finally, I got inspiration from Neo himself, Keanu Reeves.

My friend convinced me to see Keanu’s film, John Wick. I enjoyed the film, it’s a tight action movie with a simple story that works. Character motives are clear, the plot moves and the tone is fun. Check out the trailer:

I’m back. No joke, I just spent the last 30 minutes watching John Wick clips. I swear a gold fish could finish a blog post faster than me. Think about how crazy that sounds – you can’t even use a computer underwater!

“I swear a gold fish could finish a blog post faster than me. Think about how crazy that sounds – you can’t even use a computer underwater!”

Anyway, this simple, but effective action movie made it obvious why I was stuck: my plot was too muddled and I couldn’t neatly transition to act two. My solution? Follow John Wick’s lead and take revenge on my script by tearing the convoluted mess apart. The script now resides in trash can heaven. Thank you Keanu for your endless wisdom.

Keanu Reeves Saying You're Welcome

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The next step is to restart my simplified script, or I could just watch Swordfish.

Actually 99 Minutes Later

Back from watching Swordfish. That was not a good movie.

Until next time,

Mr. Struggle

Getting Writer Blocked