On Writing : Help! My co-writers are infuriating! by Steve Roberts

Help! My co-writers are infuriating!

OK - maybe I am to them as well. Here's the issue: the three of us have been creating a story Bible for months now, but they seem to enjoy the angel-on-a-pinhead discussions - interminable conversations about the subtleties of character motivations and back histories which I thought we'd nailed, but no - and all the while time is passing. This is starting to feel like a reluctance to knuckle down to scriptwriting. There's always a reason why we can't start on the script, and this is driving me crazy. Anyone experienced similar? Suggestions?

Boomer Murrhee

I've never been in this situation but assigning a goal of writing scenes may help. You guys write Scene 1 & 2 and I'll write Scene 3 by Friday, then we can discuss and move on. Sounds like a little procrastination going on from how you explained it. Good luck.

Steve Roberts


Thank you - I agree with you - but they don't like deadlines either. (In some ways understandable - none of us are being paid, so people have day jobs.) Even when I suggest they set their own targets, they don't meet them. Hence the hair-tearing and teeth-gnashing...! They love the story but, as you say, procrastination is setting in.

David Lake

Dump them and write it yurself.

Philip Sedgwick

Perhaps a document that defines participation, ownership, rights, all that mundane jazz will add some grease to the grinding gears of resistance.

Structure is the backbone of creativity. Set goals. Assign tasks. Create deadlines. If someone does not match up, bye-bye. Otherwise, you'll never get there.

Steve Roberts

Yep - you're right. I think I just needed a bit of backbone stiffening. Thank you for the comments. Do you think that endless playing around with speculative musings on motives, just putting off the evil hour of writing, is a common problem? Having Googled it, it looks like "fear of getting started" is a thing.

Richard Buzzell

Axe-murder them.

Tabitha Baumander

and this is why I write alone


James Wunderlich

When my current writing partner asked if I would work with him he was in a similar situation. He informed me that although they had covered the walls of their writing studio with index cards full of ideas, situations and motivations; he had no idea what the movie was about. It frustrated him that after all the time spent on the process he was unable to even sum up the project in a sentence. When I asked him why he had thought of me to help, his practical answer was he noticed that I finished things. Perhaps you could follow his example with similar results?

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