Screenwriting : What are you waiting for? by Craig D Griffiths

Craig D Griffiths

What are you waiting for?

I have a story which I hold in a special place in my heart.

It is about a death row inmate and his relationship with his daughter. 

I am waiting till I feel I am the kind of writer that will do it justice.  Does anyone else have something they are waiting for before starting a particular project?

Jacqueline BRitton

I have a story in my head based loosely around the suicide of my brother who was an infamous attorney. I haven’t sat to write it yet while I focus on moving my debut novel, Coasters, to the next step, screenplay.

Craig D Griffiths

Jacqueline BRitton I love writing in the screenplay form, so my advice is a bit hypocritical. The time you spend adapting spend on promoting your novel.

They pay a lot more for rights than they do for screenplays.

CJ Walley

I've got a few big ones I'm holding back on until I'm in the right place. For me, it's not just about having the skills to do it, it's about seeing the means to get them made. That's a huge motivator.

Ally Shina

I never used to think it mattered when I wrote a script, until I was like 15 pages into like 2 scripts I had to put on hold because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to write them. Like I'm still unsure what "the right frame of mind" is when approaching both projects, because even today they both remain unfinished.

Ever since my experience with both scripts I've decided to think before I write. Now I realize my moods play a huge factor in deciding whether or not the writing process will be productive or whether I'll work much slower because I'm easily frustrated by a character or the plot just doesn't work out how I imagined. Then I sulk... yes, I'm one of those writers who end up sulking with my head on my desk like "why character development, why?!" But I've learned not to wallow in it too long. It's kind of happening to me right now with my current script and boy and I wallowing... I just can't quite transition from one scene to the next and I'm sulking.

Since this is a professional platform I know a lot of you will not admit to being moody about your writing and you will try to have profound reasons for stalling, but I've read in a European psychology magazine that this happens to writers all the time. In fact they claimed it could be considered an archetype personality trait. Maybe you don't put your head on your desk, but I think nail biting is gross so I'd rather not... wink

Travis Calvert

Why put off until tomorrow what you can start today? There will always be plenty of excuses for not writing (I don't have enough time, I'm not in the right frame of mind, I'm not a good enough writer, etc). The fact is the challenge is there before you. This isn't like mountain climbing where one slip can mean imminent death. We are fortunate in that aspect. We are not only allowed, but encouraged to re-write until we get it right. If you have other work that is more important...get to it, but don't go to your grave carrying "I should haves."

Craig D Griffiths

Travis Calvert I look at it like this. There are plenty of stories I can write. I have a few underway at any one time. But there is a combination that makes a great script. A good idea formed into a story and the correct writer.

Think about it like cooking. No matter how good a cook is, vegetables that are not ripe will not make a good meal. A talented cook can make them palatable, even tasty. But not the same meal that ripe vegetables would make. I know I am not the man that is needed for this story, I am not ripe.

Travis Calvert

Craig, I see what you're saying. Is this an adaptation?

Eric Christopherson

I've got a non-fiction project on hold even though I've done a ton of research for it. I'm not sure whether it ought to be an historical documentary, a true-story early 19th century A Few Good Men, or a limited series. When I find the right contact who can help me decide, the project will get moving again.

Craig D Griffiths

Travis Calvert just an idea I had. I started writing it years ago and stopped. I knew I wasn’t ready to do

it justice.

I can write, the ability to weave a story and get an arrow clearly through the readers heart wasn’t in my grasp. It has been on my mind lately. It may be time.

Travis Calvert

Craig D Griffiths Do it. I'd be interested in reading it.

Maxwell Highsmith

This story seems awesome. Maybe you should workshop. To help with this piece go see (or participate in) a Dramatic reading of Exonerated. That should open you up creatively. To answer your question, I don't wait. Prolonged projects become #SleepStealers. I can't have that it affects more areas in my life than I care to admit.

Craig D Griffiths

I feel I am more ready now as person to convey real emotions. I always had the Dad genre. But now my daughter is 23 my emotions go from “protecting” (like when she was 10), to concern about life choices and what that will mean for her future.

Goes without saying if some hurt her they’d be dead before their body reaches the floor. But it is a different fear you have for an adult daughter.

M L.

If I'm truly excited about an idea or a story, I can't put it off. I have to write it immediately. I wrote 2 feature scripts this year and both took about 4 months each. Starting a 3rd currently. This one I hope to finish by February of 2020.

The only projects I'll put off are book adaptations. Cause you need the rights. I have some musical biopic ideas but I would need life rights to someone's story etc. So those take a back seat till I acquire development funding or sell a few scripts.

Craig D Griffiths

M L. I wouldn’t write something I didn’t know. Means you only have one customer. I person that owes the rights. Too risky for me.

M L.

Craig D Griffiths I said that I wouldn't write a spec script that required an option of a book until I legally had the option. Same with a story that required legal paperwork securing the life rights to someones story. It's best to get that first before beginning a project like that. You disagree?

It's true that someone may want a sample of what you intend to write before signing off but that's different than doing a full final draft of a script on the "hope" that they'll love it and sell you the rights. haha. Too risky.

Bill Albert

I have one on an incident in WW2 but I just feel I'm not good enough for it yet. Does that make sense?

Craig D Griffiths

Bill Albert 100%. That’s how I feel about my death row story.

Vince Gilligan wrote 40 drafts of the film Hancock. They didn’t use any of his work. He realised he wasn’t the writer for that film.

I hope to be or grow into the writer I need to be to do justice to my story.

Ionel Movila

i have a few stories that i want to write, but i feel like i need to live it for later in my life :) i have made a script that i did not sell yet and i think i need to see how things go with this one before i start writhing any of the other ideas :)

Imo Wimana Chadband

I can relate to this, Craig. There's this one story I've had in my mind. I think it's amazing, touching, and unique, but I've purposefully avoided writing it as yet because I don't think I'm at the level to make it the masterpiece it needs to be. I don't want to mess it up so I'm learning and growing the craft with other scripts first until I feel worthy (lol) of writing that one that's been lurking in my mind.

Jacob Buterbaugh

I can relate to this. It usually doesn't work out well for me though. My biggest problem in filmmaking (and life) is that I overthink everything. When I put something on hold until I'm ready, I usually think of a billion and one reasons why I'm not ready. Then, when I come back to it, I usually think of another billion and one reasons why I'm still not ready... So, for me, I have to dive in head first. And I have to work very, very quickly. The more I tread water with a project, the more likely I'm gonna sink.

CJ Walley

Just want to point out there's a big in-between when it comes to writing and waiting. There's a lot of develop, research, and note taking that can be done before feeling it's the right time to approach a project and complete a solid draft.

Craig D Griffiths

True CJ. You also have to keep writing to become this better writer. I know I can write it now. Just have start with my dot points and some prose, knock the edges off.

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