Screenwriting : Do-overs by Alex Marroquin

Alex Marroquin


I just want to know if any of you (beginners and professional writers are all welcome to answer) have ever worked on a script, including forming an outline, only to find no motivation or dislike the concept of the story as a whole. I am currently working on my first feature-length screenplay, my first one in fact, and 30 pages in, and even with my outline, I don't find my story as a whole engaging or even fun to write anymore. What have you felt/done in this situation?

Annette F Hummell

I write down ideas what type of story. Develop characters first what type of person they are including flaws. Writing a bio helps me get into writing the first draft. Only will do an outline for the flow of the story.

Richard Banton

I've written three and I've never experienced what you're talking about on the first draft. If the concept doesn't excite you at all, I would move on. However, I'd encourage you to self-reflect on whether the lack of "fun" is the result of writer's block or need for perfection.

Heidi Schussman

My trick is to "Make it Worse, then Make it Better twice, then Make it Worse." The exercise somehow releases my mind. It's also a fun game to play in a group.

Eric Christopherson

Honestly, that has never happened to me, Alex. (Maybe it should happen to me.) I think it's because I simply don't move on to the next scene until I find the scene I'm working on engaging to me and advances the story. Just okay is not okay might be my motto.

Christopher Phillips

It happens to a lot of writers. Many people talk about getting part way into a script and never finishing it. Sometimes the love of the concept just doesn't last very long, or the concept isn't solid enough to make an entire story.

Brett Hoover

I'm an author but still at the beginner stages when it comes to writing screenplays. For both my books and screenplays I create a brief outline only detailing the broader theme of the scene but I create a character Bible before I start writing. I create the personality of the character by jotting down the character's interests, attitudes and even bad habits to make the character feel more authentic. I then let the character Bible drive how the character behaves in the scene and the eventual outcome. It keeps the story fresh and engaging for the moments it does get tedious.

William Martell

That hasn't really happened to me on the first draft. The tenth or eleventh draft, sure.

If this is your first screenplay, have you done much writing in other mediums? Short stories or Novels? Did you experience the problem there?

Alex Marroquin

Thank you all for your responses. I'm currently going back to square one with a new, more detailed outline and character backgrounds. I feel more confident and enjoy the story!

Anthony Moore

Easy - Kill the last scene and write a new scene with the most-unlikely-thing-that-could-happen happen. Take your script in a new direction even if it doesn't fit into your outline. You may want to even toss the outline and freestyle it for a while until the real story comes out. Writing is a process. Trust the process.

Christopher Poet

This depends. I have been in this situation but more often than not, it is because one of my previous scenes has either derailed the story or a choice I made for a character prior is just leading to an uneventful situation.

In most cases, I just reread my work and scan through the primary events of each scene until I find the culprit that began the downfall of the script. I copy everything from that scene and up to the current scene, paste it in another document, and then delete it from the original script. I keep the copy as a reference point to what went wrong while I re-write the events.

I have never been in a situation where the entire story has lost my interest though. At least, not yet. A lot of what I write is what I am motivated to write and enjoy writing from the beginning. It does not always do me the most favors but I am not one to write something just for the sake of pleasing others. Not to say you are, just explaining why it has yet to be an issue for me.

Annette F Hummell

I only use an outline for the flow of the story, may shift scenes. Creating bios for characters help me write, I've added scenes, deleted them. For me it's more enjoyable.

Dan MaxXx

If you wanna write for television, learn to write outlines aka treatments/scriptments. Whatever you call it. Employers want to see & read exact blueprints (# of actors, locations, Days/Nights before scripting).

M L.

There was something about the initial idea that motivated you enough to begin the outline process in the first place. Try to remember what that was. Sometimes when you begin to map it out, the overall structure and drudgery of character outlines and backstory begins to wear you down and you can lose touch with the original inspiration.

As alot of people have already stated scripts are a lot of hardwork to map out before you even begin the actual writing. So yeah, been there. Don't forget the more in depth you get with the character development worksheets and things others have mentioned and the more specific you are with the world you build, the easier it will be to write scenes cause you'll have a lot to draw from. It's just a drag getting there.

Craig D Griffiths

I often do that. Start something and it goes no where.

Doug Nelson

Now that I'm retired, I have the luxury of writing or not. I think I've got half a dozen scripts with banger openings that I've just set aside for lack of interest. If you're working in the Writer's Room on a tv series; you and your muse show up at 9:00 sharp, park your butt in the seat and write. That's what they pay you to do. I don't care anymore but I had a different opinion when I had to pay some rent.

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