The last post was the WHY of this little endeavor, but here's the WHAT. I've written a couple scripts, and whenever I've given them to professional writers out in Los Angeles, one of the more consistent bits of feedback I've received is "Have you read SAVE THE CAT?" I had not. I'd resisted. For a number of reasons I'd had little interest in reading the late Blake Snyder's self-purported "Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need." It just didn't seem like my thing, it didn't seem to mesh with the reasons I'd had for wanting to set pen to paper. But what I wanted to do was play with the pros, and the pros were saying "Read SAVE THE CAT."
So I read it.
And I read it again.
In some ways I was right, a lot of the book rubs me the wrong way for what are purely aesthetic/personal reasons. But what it is at heart is a simple, mercenary way to structure stories to go down easy with the Powers That Be. I can certainly see how that would be valuable, and within that I think I can still do what I want to do with the stories I want to write. At least, that's the hypothesis. So here's the experiment.
This year I will write 5 screenplays using Snyder's method, hammer and tongs. One month planning, one month writing, 5 screenplays in ten months with some wiggle room to allow for life and madness.
Yes. 5 screenplays. 1 every 2 months.
Is this a ridiculous thing to do? Assuredly. Will these screenplays be any good? Probably not. But the idea is (1) to force myself to write fast and loose (and I always work better on assignment anyways, and (2) I want to get these guidelines, this lexicon, into my bones.
On this blog I'll walk through every step of the process. Ideally some of those same pros who directed me towards StC and gave me a hefty dose of incredible notes will keep an occasional eye on this and help me in my writing crash course. And, of course, all other help and guidance will be greatly appreciated.
I'm here to learn.
And also, you know, write 5 film scripts in a year.
Because I'm a lunatic.
The journey begins next blog! I'll see you there!