Screenwriting : What are your writing habits? by Emily Cracknell

Emily Cracknell

What are your writing habits?

What do you always do when you write? Do you need a certain piece of music/do you have a set schedule? What small things do you do before you start writing?

Cherie Grant

Cup of coffee if it's cold or water if it's warm. Make sure I'm not hungry. Make sure I've done my day's duties so I don't have to watch the clock. Cake or biscuits....GO!

Varun Prabhu

I write for 15 minutes and then walk around for five..:D

Molly N. Moss

Coffee is a must, and I start by reviewing the previous day's work so I can get the rhythm of the writing back in my head.

Lisa Clemens

I like to have Pandora going while I write. When the kids hear music on they know Mom's busy!

Molly N. Moss

Alle Segretti would probably be surprised at how much writing I get done, while downing several cups of coffee per day. So far, publishers aren't complaining that my work lacks creativity. :-)

Lisa Clemens

I'm a coffee lover too! I am a night owl who writes all night and needs that coffee in the morning to find my way and my wits to get the kids up for school! Then I write some more haha!

Cherie Grant

I've written with coffee and I've written without coffee and found no difference in my work at all. Perhaps this study about coffee is really about drinking copious amounts everyday rather than a cup or two.

Varun Prabhu

I think it is up to people. If they want to drink coffee while writing and are comfortable with it, by all means go ahead :) If they don't, they don't :)

Cherie Grant

Why are you assuming people are addicted just because they drink coffee? And why are you so invested in telling us all that you're the expert on the matter and we should capitulate to your ultimate knowledge? Are you so in need of boosting your ego and allaying your insecurities by putting everyone down on every subject Alle? I'm getting sick of you putting people down while telling us all how talented you are and how all your A-list friends think you're the best thing since sliced bread and that you've been compared to Hitchcock and Kubrick and for fuck's sake how stupid do you think we all are? Give it a rest.

Varun Prabhu

Cherie, She can be an insufferable know-it-all at times (she might have experience but that is nothing to lord over imo). She is not wrong about coffee though (her assumption about addiction is incorrect), but she really needs a lesson in attitude and the tone of her voice is too aggressive (I think it is the ego talking). If I were you I would ignore her or at best, interact as little as you can. There will always be Sheldon Coopers thinking of others as Howard Wollowitzs :)

Varun Prabhu

Molly, I wrote the first novel with drinking cups of coffee by the side. Well, it is getting published, eh?

Pj McIlvaine

I do not drink coffee at all. My tummy can't take it.

Jason Levy

I like to have music playing. I search youtube for music for working or studying.

Rick Meyer

I have CNBC on the television or reruns that I know well and need pay no real attention to. It soothes my ADD, . I realize my methods are unusual. I play golf and video games too, and frequently get great inspiration from not making myself write. Works for me.

Jeff Prince

Total silence for me. And sweet tea.

Alan Knittel

Music, always the music...

Chas Franko Fisher

I have a different playlist for each project. Helps me get in the headspace. And coffee or booze depending on the stage of the process I am at (coffee for slamming through pages; booze to turn the internal editor off)

Kathryn Gould

I have kids, so whenever, wherever I can!

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

As the greatest expert on everything, I advise not drinking too much liquid of any kind during writing sessions. Otherwise, you might have to get up to use the toilet and that can often break your continuity. As far as creating a mood, I have a few things that get my creative juices flowing. I pop a few mushrooms and listen to atonal, ambient music with limited notes, until I reach the point of a psychotic break. Then I can interact with my characters much like JD Salinger did with the Glass family.

Victor Dobbins

I have to have some hot tea!

Vincent Scheraldi

I like to eat a box on Entemens chocolate covered donuts and drink a gallon of whole milk before I start writing....this way I can't move off the chair for a few days! Seriously though, I don't understand the question! Just write baby !!!

Kirk Carter

A couple of healthy glasses of Tawny Port, a nice salad, and some nice jazz playing in the background!

Janet Biery

I like to go to Y for a couple of hours, mainly swimming, come home wiped out and read through email and posts. Then write on a specific project with a goal of five to twenty good pages. Late afternoon, relax, television or movie watching, read a script or ebook, and back at it until midnight. Love to feel pushed. Most days, lucky to get ten usable pages.

York Davis

Often when waking up, I have great ideas to resolve plot or other problems, so like to write for three or four hours (ie. 4-8 pages) after morning coffee and clearing emails . Evenings, if TV is dull, I'll be half watching and the other half correcting grammar or spelling glitches and polishing what I've written that morning.

Matt Treacy

I work a 3 day week, so I try to get the most out of the other 4 days as I can. Generally, I'll go to the gym first thing, then jump straight in. The most effective time to write is in the morning - so I do most of the heavy lifting then. I remove all distractions and put my headphones on. Lately, I've been listening to a 6 hour mix of soundtrack music on You Tube. Given the type of stories I write, it's perfect for getting me in the zone. I leave outlining, research and other business to the afternoon, when I'm less effective

Stephen Lincoln

Have a variety of hours (from early morning to late night) when I write. I always try to read some information received on the internet about movies and the screenwriting game before I begin (a lot is really uplifting or educational for screenwriters to keep in mind. I also have one "superstition" I like to feed before beginning. I have Final Draft software and there's always one tip I flip to before I start writing. It's really more of a creedo: "The journey of a thousand words begins with the first."

Alan Knittel

York, you are right. Waking up, in a half-dream, half-conscience state, I have written complete scenes in my head, and sometimes the start and the end of screenplays. That state is a great resolver of issues.

Geof Spalding

I write every morning after walking the dogs and coffee. Write for about three hours, then in the afternoon and early evening I do research and other stuff when I am less effective. Occasionally I will get a thought or a scene at any time of the day. Once when I was writing a novel and old Chinese character appeared in my mind and I wrote 40,000 word parable in a little over three weeks. Wish it was always that easy. Sometimes when I write I end the day with less words or scenes than I started.

Edward St.Boniface

My favourite preparatory is thinking of something that enrages me. The kind of thing that gets under your skin and you just can't quite get on top of, is an injustice, an imposition, WHY THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY CAN DO THAT TO ME, THOSE (EXPLETIVE-DELETED)s...Grrrr! Seriously, I find when you're angry you tend to write with the most candour and honesty, sometimes escaping beyond the bounds of articulacy but you go back and edit it later. Often I've surprised myself writing in the grip of a kind of controlled fury, revealing things about myself I hadn't intended and occasionally seeing the funny side and even solutions to what sometimes seem insoluble dilemmas.

Dennis R Varni

Structure is the "top spin" for story. Or the reverse. Or together as one. if your thinking structure the you can arrange story any time any place. You need to start a focus, and structure as background can help organize story.. i write best with distraction present.

Dawn RR

Recently got advice to write ten minutes a day ...about anything that comes to mind, whatever is floating around in my head as I attempt to fine tune a script or write a new piece. I've been in a writer's block, because I know my script is good, but I am unconsciously worry about whether I'm doing justice to the dramatic part of it and also because I don't want to step on anybody's toes. But that's my issue.

Ivan Alexei Dominguez

I need to hear music, preferably: opera (Gigli, Caruso), or some French song of the 30's or Cello concert. Drink a glass of good red wine, and I enjoy a good Cuban cigar (sometimes). The rest should be silent. For this silence, I occupy the morning ... 5:00 o clock in the morning! I need at least 2 hours a day to write, but sometimes for whole days, I get frizz, staring at the blank page, I objectifying ideas in structuring. Regards Ivan

Tito Germaine 'Ontherise' Ellis

I love to listen to an instrumental beat when I'm writing. I like the quietness of the atmosphere. I take my thinking very serious and I normally write 2-3hrs daily or whenever I get the chance and not working or helping others. The small things I do before writing is clear my mind and make sure I am focus.

Mary-Helen Norris

For me, it depends on what I'm writing what music I listen to. I find that different types of music lend themselves better to different types of stories and characters. Spotify can be your best friend in figure out what works best for each piece and you also have the ability to make a playlist. As for how often I write, I have gotten the advice that you should write everyday but I'll admit that I'm guilty of not doing that. If you have a few minutes and can nail down that scene, then awesome. But don't beat yourself up if you can't.

Thedia Samara

I'm like you Ronnie. I also like to create a picture storyboard. It helps me create the environment and relationships for my characters.

Patty Sandoval Sralla

I compile a two-hour soundtrack for each particular script that evokes the story's emotions. Also, when the last song plays, I know I've worked at least two hours on the script, and can take a break and start all over again with the soundtrack. Rewriting is the same way.

Edward St.Boniface

I always know I'm writing well when I have an experience akin to waking up from a trance and realise I haven't heard any music or radio noise or sound otherwise at all for the duration...

Bill Cook

Although I've only sold a one page Roast, I still want you to know how I've been working lately. Right after a healthy breakfast, I go to my desk, turn on the computer and while waiting for it to start, turn on, classical music. If I haven't done it yet, I offer the rest of the day to God. Then I start writing, if there's no email needing immediate attention. This next part may only work for me, since I have ADD. Currently, I've been working on three writing projects, rotating them, one after the other, staying with each long enough to move it forward. This way, I never get bored with a project, which fits perfectly with my ADD. The time spent on each piece does not have to be equal. Once in a while I spend a lot of time on one and maybe change just a word or a sentence on another. My main projects are a screenplay, a novel and a short story. Recently, I managed to work in two very short stories, each about a page and a half in length. It seems that getting away from a project is almost as important as working on it, since I usually see something in each piece that I overlooked before. I hope this helps. If you want to collaborate on anything, let me know.

Deneta Davis

I like to watch tv shows with same tone as the script i'm going to write. That way, I have the proper tone and comedy style in my head as I begin to write.

Tony McFadden

When I'm writing my first draft (novel or screenplay) I listen exclusively to Zoe Keating's cello. (www.zoekeating.com) The layered cello she lays down just seems to transport my brain to a perfect writing place.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Dan: Amen to that.

Janet Scott

Thank you Tony.....

Tony McFadden

Janet, do you listen to her also?

Janet Scott

No, I clicked on the link you posted and enjoyed, thank you....

Niksa Maric

What do I always do? I'm sitting down, of course. I listen to music all the time. What small things I do before I start writing? I wake up.

Edward St.Boniface

Oddly enough I find it helps to be thinking of what you intend to write the next day before you fall asleep, giving your subconscious a chance to mix it up a bit. Sometimes I wake with some vivid ideas and can get straight into it before rising for the day.

Edward St.Boniface

Even fragments of your last dream if you remember it can be unexpectedly useful...

Mary-Helen Norris

I'll second that. Dreams can really help you sort out a plot hole. Another thing I've found useful is allowing my mind to wander at work. Sometimes, my job gives me time to let my mind wander and then I can try writing it out later.

Brandy Patricia Edwards

I have to have a coke and snack on hand before I start to write. When I do start I have music onto get me into the mood of what I am writing.

Cory Tucholski

I have small kids and I work nights more often than not (fast food manager here), so I write late at night, after they go to bed and/or after I get home after a close. Usually after midnight, sometimes after 3 am. I grab a Pepsi, and I put on music. Classical or metal mostly. I then try to write for at least an hour or two. I typically edit as I go, so I generally require only a good, thorough polish once I'm "done." I also make sure I read widely and a lot. That is part of my writing routine. Seeing how other authors have handled similar scenes or plotlines can give me ideas on how to execute my own more skillfully and with a better professional flourish.

Byron Scot

I usually drink beer and snort melted Ex-Lax. I like the warm feeling in my nose and it keeps my sinuses regular. 8o)

Byron Scot

Just kidding about the last comment.

Byron Scot

Actually, I listen to music and do a lot of pacing. My mind usually doesn't work unless my feet are moving.

Bill Cook

I didn't know this was going to be multiple choice. I pick your first answer, Byron, because it seems the most plausible.

Bill Cook

Congratulations, Emily, you've really started something. Are you going to try any of them?

Marc Sigoloff

I do absolutely nothing in particular. I write when the mood strikes.

Neva J Howell

I almost always write in my head for days before I ever put pen to paper, speaking entire scenes out loud. I look like a crazy person when I have an idea brewing because I'm liable to just start writing out loud at any moment.

Leigh Stanton

Take my dog for a long walk and lay out complete scenes as I wander.

Jenny Masterton

I'm trying to get rid of all my habits, so that I can write wherever whenever without rituals.

Janet Scott

Neva, so glad to hear you say that... I write the story also in my head before putting pen to paper. Glad I am not alone ...

Mary-Helen Norris

I write bits and pieces in my head. Though sometimes, scenes get away from me when I got to type them out.

Ingrid Abrams

I get comfortable, sit down to type, then, I think: "I should eat a bagel, a bagel sounds good." Oh, wait, that's not me, that's Kaufman... I think Kaufman hit the nail on the head for pretty much the way every writer feels when they're staring at that blank page, or the flashing curser.

Rick Meyer

I certainly get the gist of it in my head, frequently on a golf course, while cooking, or watching tv

Janet Scott

Alle...........grins.

Mary-Helen Norris

Alle, love the way you worded that.

Molly N. Moss

So, Alle, if enough other people think I'm a writer too, such that I become a success, you'd rather I stay out of your way? I appreciate much wisdom you've shared on a variety of topics, but history has shown that a previously obscure writer can abruptly rocket to stardom--Stephen King being one notable example. What if you're being scornful of someone who suddenly becomes The Writer Everybody Wants in Hollywood? I'm not saying it's me, though I certainly wouldn't mind if that happens. Just saying that maybe being less dismissive of other writers wouldn't be such a bad idea, eh?

Brandy Patricia Edwards

I like coke myself lol but of course that is still caffeine. I do drank coffee sometimes but only at night (yes I said it) when I am staying awake to write or do homework for Full Sail U.

Marc Sigoloff

I'm a Pepsi One drinker, which also has caffeine. Does that disqualify me from being a writer?

Ingrid Abrams

Did you know that in the "Apple" creative development team office they had special esspresso makers and special beans shipped in from Europe, just for this team, they said that they can not, and will not begin a creative session without it, and they are some of the most creative people on earth. (sorry, I read A LOT, ) LOL. I think you just have to find your groove and go with it. Not saying to be addicted is the best thing at all, please don't misunderstand, I am an ICU RN for over 30 years and have seen my share of detoxing patients, but how many of the best music artists of the 60's- 70's had addictive personalities and made some of the best music in history. Maybe it would've been better if they didn't use- who knows? But I need my coffee. LOL

Marc Sigoloff

Everyone has to find what works best for them. If you work better with caffeine, that's fine. some people work better with it. There is no one right answer for everyone.

Rick Meyer

I had my last cup of .coffee in the early 1970's. That made about five in my life.

Marc Sigoloff

I took one sip of coffee when I was young, and that was it.

Tony McFadden

Write without coffee? In addition to the Zoe Keating in my ears, there's a pot of strong black coffee by my side.

Ann Burr

I always have music on, with ear buds. I make different playlists for each script I'm working on. I have notebook and pen for quick notes, or to doodle on if I get blocked.

Stephen Lincoln

Ingrid, Which leaves me wondering why the "Apple" people didn't get creative on apple juice. You know the saying, "you are what you eat." I wonder if it applies to what you drink as well?

F. Aaron Franklin

Sometimes I just sit up in bed at some ungodly hour, bolt to the computer, and get to work on the greatest thing ever written. And hopefully when I wake up in the morning, it borders on coherent. No kidding though, I have had to pull over while driving for the purpose of making some sort of edit to a script, or even jot down a new one.

Bill Cook

Go Molly! Go be a success. In many ways, you already are.

David A. Krajci

Hi Emily, I usually write late at night or early morning, when the house is quiet and I can shut out all distractions. When I write, I visualize my screenplay and assign my characters to people that I know. In this way I can "watch" my movie as I review my screenplay. Works for me. Have a good day! Dave

Edward St.Boniface

IMMENSE quantities of coffee are essential - I recommend PERCOL ESPRESSO or their AMERICANO. Extra caffeine equates accelerated inspiration...

Edward St.Boniface

...if caffeine was discovered tomorrow and wasn't ingrained so deeply in our culture and food economy it would apparently qualify as a Class 2 controlled substance and only available on prescription - ain't we lucky; we addicts???

Edward St.Boniface

...and then MORE coffee and perspective...

Ingrid Abrams

Hilarious, Edward St. Boniface! (I'm guessing you are a comedy writer? If not, you should be.)

Ingrid Abrams

@Bill Cook: Apple juice- good one!

Edward St.Boniface

Thanks for saying so, Ingrid! Yes, I put a lot of comedy, usually of the wry kind into my screen and prose writing. For me it works best as part of drama and I tend to use the 'WHY ME? WHY ME? WHY MEEEEEEEEEEEE???' sort of approach since I so often experience it or perpetrate it in life. Possibly due to overconsumption of Espresso and Americano and Cappuchino and Mocha and Over-Super-Caffienated...

Ann Burr

I also like to write everything out on paper. then type it out.

Natasha Powell

When writing books, I put on music (fast tempo for action, slow or metal for depressing scenes) and drink some earl grey :). When writing scripts, I like to watch TV shows at the same time - in the same genre, and make notes of great dialogue and transitions from the show.

K.D. Stout

Listening to songs get me motivated and sometimes watching television shows and/or movies.

Edward St.Boniface

I have a special stereo that plays perfectly modulated silence. And I mean PERFECTLY. Not even a bat can hear anything from it. I just grooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove on the silence....(slow fade out)

Edward St.Boniface

Nonstop Stephen Sondheim industrial noise!!!

David Bryant

pour myself a glass of wine, get my playlist together, and dive into it.

Kirk Carter

Yea, it always cracks me up with the teetotalers. These are the ones who always end up copying my log lines cause they can't lay back and be constructive. These are the people that end up working as a secretary because of the ideas they did have, just tanked, had no clue how to rewrite, or even how to pitch an idea to the person with the checkbook...The wanna-be's...please stay away from me!

David Bryant

I'm not sure how you're getting teetotaler out of a glass of wine and I'm not sure what kind of bizarre experiences you've had, but putting someone you don't know in that category says a lot about you. I don't know what the hell happened to you, but in the spirit of camaraderie that hopefully exists elsewhere on this website I wish you the best regardless.

Kirk Carter

David, I'm old and feeble...I just don't care anymore! At least I'm honest about it!

Cherie Grant

and clearly you're losing your mind Kirk.

Kirk Carter

Happily too!

Marc Sigoloff

Kirk, if you are happy to post nonsense, I can't imagine what your writing is like. You shouldn't make blanket judgments about writers. Everyone is different. Everyone has his/her own methods. What we drink or don't drink doesn't mean crap.

Edward St.Boniface

PERCOL ESPRESSO, one delicious gallon at a time, gave me a trilogy and enough supporting additional material for a fourth...

Edward St.Boniface

...or was that misery???...

Edward St.Boniface

...and what is fiction but nonsense exquisitely expressed???

Edward St.Boniface

CAFFEINE FIENDS UNITE! Gimme my hot boiling percolated darkly aromatic fix, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan...

Edward St.Boniface

...I got a Coffee Kong on my back here!!!

Cherie Grant

i find coffee a great rituel. i'm not addicted to it, it's not the caffeine, i'ts the rituel of quietly making a coffee and sitting down and taking that first delicious sip and breathing out and then bringing my head together for the write. it doesnt make me write better, it doesnt make me write worse. it's just a drink i enjoy.

Marcus Pidek

In the summer I read or write on a chaise lounge under the cherry tree in the back yard with a coffee or a drink

Edward St.Boniface

(for Cherie) Aha, but enjoying it, however innocently at first, is just the beginning. Pretty soon it'll go from one two two cups at that initial morning ritual. Then three. even more. Top-ups through the morning. Lunch, at least two or three. Afternoon. The buzz. Then evening sitting watching TV or listening to the radio or cruising media online or voyaging into the cybermentalic ether with your Hyperbrain Helmet (sorry, getting into the future there) and before you know it, allllllll niiiiiiight... Then you're a caffeine fiend! As all writers become! Coffee Kong on your back forever...

Kirk Carter

Thanks for being there Emily, hope to meet you one day! You seem like a breath of fresh air in a crowded stadium. Hopefully, you get the drift!

Cherie Grant

edward I do not drink more than two cups in a day and sometimes i prefer to have a tea. in summer i rarely drink coffee preferring cold drinks. i do not find coffee remotely addictive just tasty. i would hate to have coffee breath and it does affect my sleep if i drink in the afternoon or evening. we're not all the same.

Edward St.Boniface

There's an easy solution to coffee breath. Brush your teeth with Espresso powder! And in the end, you will hear that Coffee Kong approaching you through the movie model forest of your fears...(like in the De Laurentis 1976 version, my fave)...and you will crave...MOCHA! CAPPUCCINO! LATTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Edward St.Boniface

...go on; you KNOW you want to...

Cherie Grant

I only drink cappuccinos at cafes and blacks at home. i won't touch a latte. and stop trying to convince me to become addicted. i'm just fine and dandy. i swear. the only kong i have on my back is YOU! get off it. swats at back

Louella M Reynolds

4 to 8 AM works best for me - a fresh pot of coffee, window open to hear the birds, and a stack of note cards to work from. Fade In to Fade Out and the multitude of rewrites!

Cherie Grant

Are you a night owl Louella? No way I could write at 4am.

Edward St.Boniface

...just one last Caffeine Plus Cappuccino...goooooooooo onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...

Edward St.Boniface

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM...

Edward St.Boniface

...drat! I've been posting so many times I forgot to write that screenplay!

Louella M Reynolds

4 AM is just an old habit from when I had to get up early and take care of livestock before going to school.... now I use that quiet time to write. A new day dawning inspires me to keep filling up the pages.

Stacy Baker Masand

a friend recently intro'ed me to a you tube channel covering pro screenwriters' creative habits and sparks. it's pretty interesting. this one's my favorite, mike white, and pretty much nails my personal process as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo6m9VeBWO4

Christian S Valenza

I finally had to take the XBOX and put it in a box in the garage the damn thing was so addicting I would rather play the games then write and prospect, I suddenly realized that I had been not writing and only pretending ever since my wife bought the thing. Damn you XBOX

K.D. Stout

Yep, Christian... Those things happen. Maybe your XBOX will wear off in a month or two... Haha... Being discipline is hard at times.

Rick Meyer

I found playing x box to be good break when I would let it rest for few, unfortunately it died

Kirk Carter

Come on Christian, you actually banned your XBOX from it's place in your living room? So... now grab your archaic notebook, your pen, and write a story a gamer would really want to play. We must entertain the masses here, apparently there's not too many of us originators left! Kirk Carter/ Burbank, Ca.

Chidi Ezeibieli

In the past, I always loved listening to some passionate music, thought it inspired me. But when I came across Stephen Kings quote, "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." I decided that I want to be like King. So I began searching for that passion inside. Now, it doesn't matter what I'm doing or where I am... I just get up and go ~ even when dreaming. Below is a success story of what "Passion on the go" is doing for me at the moment... Inhuman Nature - The journey so far The advice is to "Keep Writing..." A priceless advice I received from David Trottier, the format guru. Trottier's book, The Screenwriter's Bible changed and improved what I knew about screenwriting format. When you keep writing "with a passion" that only a true screenwriter can express, then you change that placid mundane scene into a scene a veteran Hollywood reader would describe as, extremely brilliant. I once had an original, but foreign idea for a screenplay. I called up one of the top rated Screenwriting Consulting Agencies for advice before writing. Unfortunately, I was advised to rather choose a better story with a wider appeal. But the voice of "writing insanity" within me kept saying, "write that story." Two months passed, and I finally gave in to my voice and set out writing the screenplay. When I was done in April, this year, I sent it out on a test drive to various screenwriting contests. 3 of which have given updates on their results. The other contests are yet to announce their results. How far has this idea that I was advised against writing perform... Placed 2nd in two, and third in one other. With comments such as... "This is an engaging supernatural story that captures our attention. It is very original and imaginative..." "Story was good, definitely something new. Definitely enticing to read more." ...and a lot more. This was an idea I was about dumping due to a discouraging advice. Now it's turned out to be a successful screenplay. This I believe is a product of passion and hard work. And of course support from my dear screenwriting friends... Andy Golub, Mitch Moldofsky, Eric Uzoma. Writers! Passion is key. Have a productive weekend.

Ella Maddox

I have to leave my home for the most part. Starbucks works for me. Otherwise, I'm on FB, and or playing with my dog. I get too distracted. Once I'm at Starbucks I settle down and I can be productive. And even if I don't feel like writing, I say to myself, I'll just write the frame work for the scene, who, where, what has to happen. Typically if I do that, I get into it, and voila, I have a scene or two, or more.

Brandi Self

Music is essential. I have found that I need to think outside of the box for this one. Anywhere from Johnny Cash to Goodie Mob, it just depends on the vibe of the script. I don't have to be in a nondistractive (is that a word? Fuck it) environment, I just have to zone in - How do you zone in?? And just get down on it! Happy writings peoples! B. Self

Boomer Murrhee

I have a work space in a corner of my garage. Living in rural Florida, I have a window unit A/C. I wake up, turn on the A/C in the garage, switch on a pot of 1/2 & 1/2 coffee and I let my dogs out for their daily ritual. When I come in, grab a cup of java and go into my office and fire up the laptop. If it's a creating day, I may have symphonic music in the background, if it's a networking or research day, I may listen to soft or folk rock. The only distractions besides phone calls, is my bladder and the dogs wanting to go out again. I love the solitude.

K.D. Stout

Sometimes, I feel like I need to find a place where I can focus on my writing, because I can get distracted from Facebook too and food in my apartment.

Kirk Carter

KD, Really Love your honesty with finding a safe place to open up, because it's not about habitat or a home, it's about being magnetically connected with the flux of the earth, you sense emotions like that. At one point, I thought the girl that taught me this was crazy. As you would figure, we were in Sonoma, Arizona doing Peyote buttons, but she assuried me that even after we have come down from our high, the spirits we intercede and help out with passages of thought and insight. She was right, I tested different areas of Los Angeles, and you can see it in all my writing. Be good K.D. you seem like such a sweet girl, one day we will meet...all the best!

Edward St.Boniface

The best place to write is immediately on top of a tall inaccessible pillar (like the ascetic Stylites) in a desolate landscape. And of course only a fractious typewriter and a percolator. It has the double advantage of concentrating the mind inward to avoid the bleak view and resolute determination to make that evil machine work!!!

Dillon Mcpheresome

I need stability, regularity. I need to get up early and watch my favorite news show with no interference. Then I ease into some part of a script either research or my plot software. Then it's time for Final Draft. But if interrupted the whole day is wasted.

Edward St.Boniface

(replying to Dillon Mcpheresome) ...you will NEVER be disturbed on top of a Stylite pillar in the middle of the Sinai Desert...

Edward St.Boniface

...i never was...

Edward St.Boniface

...but me typewriter broke down...

Lee A. Miller

I've written 38 feature screenplays since March of 2013. It takes about 10 days more or less. If you want to know how, you sit down at the computer and begin typing. about three times a day I get up and go tell a bunch of kids how corrupt their government is. Then I sit back down at the computer again. www.magicalrealism.us

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Lee: 38 screenplays? U B prolific!

Rick Meyer

They say Corman wrote Little Shop in the crapper then shot in 6 days

Marc Sigoloff

I honestly wouldn't want to churn out screenplays that fast. Giving them time to breathe and allowing for tinkering gets better results.

Brandi Self

Rewrites are where the stories come out. I can't imagine writing a draft and moving on to the next. I won't post or even mention the script unless it is completely perfect. Structure, theme, characters, dialogue, etc. Getting deep with the script and FEELING the characters as if they were right in front of you is the only way to have a true story that can move the viewer and bring them into your world.

Rick Meyer

No kidding Mark

Rick Meyer

All first drafts are shit - E. Hemingway

Marc Sigoloff

Great writing is rewriting. I don't recall who said that, but I firmly believe it. I couldn't get the quality I want if I wrote 38 screenplays in that short of time. If I did write that many I wouldn't tell anyone.

Rick Meyer

Amen

Dave McCrea

I think there's a lot to be said for cranking out script after script, a different one each time. Personally I feel like I progress more as a writer each time I do a new script. Rewriting has diminishing returns in a way. So much of this is concept and that initial structure of your basic story, and once you have that initial storyline done, the movie is either going to live or die, Coppola said that and he knows a lot more about movies than Hemingway. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. So I think doing 2 drafts of 5 different scripts you get faster up the learning curve than doing 10 drafts of the same script....

Marc Sigoloff

Rewriting improves. It does not diminish. First you write with your heart, and then you rewrite with your head. Hemingway may not have known much about movies, but his advice covers all forms of writing. I can't take a writer seriously if he devotes only ten days to each screenplay. Breaking through is very difficult for a screenwriter, and the competition is fierce. You need to make sure that script you are trying to sell is the best it can be, and ten days just won't do it. I certainly wouldn't let that be known to a producer, but he probably could tell by reading it.

Brandi Self

There's nothing wrong with giving an extra rewrite to special pieces of work while you are working on other things. I always have a rewrite going while I work on a couple of first drafts, or am researching, or writing a beat sheet. The point is to keep working. Writing a ton of scripts just to say you wrote them or rewriting one piece of work to death is detrimental to the process, either way.

Dave McCrea

Very good points Brandi. Marc I hear what you're saying and 10 days does seem kind of bananas. Would love to get Martell's take on this - he seems very prolific

Dave McCrea

Also Marc diminishing returns is different from diminishing...

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

I say do whatever the fuck works to get a good story down on paper. I would never say someone couldn't possibly write a good screenplay in few weeks. Everyone is built differently and manifest creativity in different ways. I just worked with a producer to revise what I thought was a completed script. However, he had great ideas and I used about fifty percent of them, adding a lot of additional material. The bottom line was I thought it added value. He just submitted it to an industry heavyweight after we completed our review of the subsequent draft. Get your script to a point where someone wants to work with you and believes in your talent. Then be prepared to do more rewriting as other interested parties become involved.

Marc Sigoloff

I never suggested rewriting to death. One shot just isn't enough.

Cherie Grant

I just bought an expensive bottle of armagnac to help the writing process lol. hmm time to open bottle. Oohhh very smooth and drinkable. just as good as my rum.

Rick Meyer

You go girl

Marty Wolff

I can write best in the morning. Cup of fresh hot coffee next to my laptop, I check Facebook and my emails and then I start writing (or try to).

Edward St.Boniface

Armagnac shounds good, sho dosh Jack Danielsh and cola...Baileysh maybe...wheresh the floor gone???

Edward St.Boniface

Ah; purple hippo! How can you fit into my tiny room anyhoush???...

Edward St.Boniface

...and the coffee dissipates the alcohol, of course. Just pile addiction on addiction and let reality warp around you...

Edward St.Boniface

...I just wish that giant mutant centipede with the leering face of Julian Sands would leave my room...

Tito Germaine 'Ontherise' Ellis

When I am in the process of writing, I make sure I have some quiet time.. I make sure the kids are sleep(they are too active for some writing time). I let them worry the hell out of me, until they fall asleep. I like to write off into the quiet of the night or before the early morning sunrise. Maybe a Lil soft music in the background n some wine or a cup of coffee. The smallest thing I do before writing is clear my mind and focus my attention on a good concept for a story... I prepare myself for the 'rollercoaster ride'. Much Love To All Of You!!

Leon Reaper

Horror and Action movies > Rock & Metal music, Historic based scripts > Classical music ( J S Bach, Beethoven etc)

Leon Reaper

It also depends on the scenes too, if its a sad scene then I must change the music that'll suit the mood for the event so my brain can feel for what is happening for the character in it.

Leon Reaper

Sounds weird but it works for me...

Kitty Chan

i wish i could wake up at 6 and write everyday! But the weather is not doing good to me.

James David Sullivan

I wish I could wake up every day!

York Davis

I don't get to write everyday around this holiday season, but my mind works on story outlining, plot and character details etc. But isn't that all part of writing, especially as I'm still in first draft stage. Usually though, mornings, around 8-noon are great for me. I'm luckily and happily retired at least from full-time work.

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