Productivity Tip: Get Competitive!

Hey screenwriters!
Today’s writing tip is all about using a little bit of a competitive spirit to help you reach your daily word count or page count goals.

Not everyone works well in writing partnerships, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work with other writers in order to inspire and motivate each other.

Productivity Tip: A Time-Saving Trick

Crafting story arcs and set-ups and payoffs can be difficult — you have to weave them into the story and make them appear smooth and natural.

Luckily, there’s a screenwriting trick that will not only save you time and drafts, but will also help you effortlessly create multiple levels to your script.

Productivity Tip: Designing Your Writing Routine

Today is focused around designing your writing routine in order to better your screenwriting craft.

The difference between a hobby and a craft is that crafts must be honed. You have to actively work to shape your skills and add more skills to your toolbelt. Hobbies don’t require this kind of dedication.

So if you’re serious about being a screenwriter, you should also be serious about setting aside time to write every day. And designing a writing routine can help you stick to your writing goals!

Productivity Tip: Use a Scene Outline to Stay Focused

Sometimes, when you sit down to write your screenplay, the blank page can psych you out.

With a scene outline, you can map out exactly where you want your scene to go and get an idea of how you want to get there.

Here are 4 different ways you can approach the scene outline:

Productivity Tip: Manage Your Script Pipeline

3 Tips for Managing Your Screenplay Pipeline:

1. Don’t overload your pipeline. Shelve anything that you aren’t devoting time to in the near future. I make a point of only having a max of two screenplays at each stage.
2. Use your pipeline to push projects to completion. If you’ve been keeping a script in the “writing” or “rough draft” phase for over six months while you wait for the ‘perfect time’ to write it, understand that you’re probably procrastinating. Keeping track of your pipeline helps you realize when a project isn’t moving forward.
3. Productivity requires planning. Hold yourself accountable! It’s easy to slack off or procrastinate. With little tools like this, you can make sure you’re spending enough time within your story worlds doing what you do best: creating.

Productivity Tip: Find Your Routine

What’s one of the most important factors that influences what you write on any given day?

Answer: how you prepare for a writing session. Everything you do leading up to when you sit down for a few hours to write influences the kinds of things that appear on the page. Your routine is important not only because it helps cue mental associations with creativity, but also because it can affect the quality of your work.

What kind of habits and routines do you have in place, if any? Here are four tips for spicing up your writing routine:

Productivity Tip: Share Your Progress

There is no better motivator than peer pressure.

For those of you doing National Novel Writing Month, you know exactly how well publicizing your progress motivates you to work on your novel each day. From NaNoWriMo t-shirts to a public profile page displaying your wordcount, there are more than enough ways to let others know about the challenge you’re undertaking.

But what about every month of the year that isn’t National Novel Writing Month? What do we do then?

Productivity Tip: Warm Up Before You Write

You can’t expect to spin creative gold the second you sit down to write. You need to ease into the creative mindset and become re-acquainted with your story world and the characters that inhabit it.

The best writing warm-ups are the ones that last from anywhere to five to fifteen minutes and are an independent exercise from your script or novel. That way, you can write without stopping and come up with plot twists or scenes that are out of the box and wouldn’t fit in your current piece of writing. Set a time limit, because this forces you to keep writing — even if you run out of ideas. The best scenes sometimes are written after you’ve gone past the meat of the scene.

Productivity Tip: Don’t Edit While You Write

When writing your first draft, do not edit while you write.

The first draft is your time to discover your plot, characters, and subplots. You should be flexible in this draft and be open to new changes. If you write and edit, you’re essentially second guessing yourself, which not only hinders the divergent thinking aspect of your creativity, but it also hurts your productivity.