2 weeks in LA!  2 weeks learning and writing but who cares!? How many words have you written? How much progress have you made? Have you gotten over yourself and got it done!?

I can’t believe how fast the first 2 weeks have flown by and I have LOVED every minute here.

Alan Donegan writing a screen play in Santa Monica, CA

Alan writing his screen play and enjoying the LA weather
In this post I will share with you my progress (yes I have made a graph of writing!), what I have learned this week, and the plan to get the thing finished by April 19th, which is just 4 weeks away!  Can someone slow down time for me?

It is all about the numbers!

My goal is to write 1 screen play by the 19th of April (See the BIG commitment here).  A screen play for a movie is anywhere between 7,500 – 20,000 words although the number of words is less important than the number of pages.  The target for a spec script (which is a script you write to then try and sell) is between 90-120 pages.  The movie industry work on about 1 minute of film for 1 page of script.

So my target is to get 1 script finished of around 90 – 100 pages.

How am I doing so far?  Here are the numbers!  You may notice on the graph below there are 2 movies!  This is because I got inspired to write a second movie and got energy for that.  In the second week I have worked on both scripts and had fun changing and writing both.

In week 1, I had written 5487 words for the screen play and in week 2 we amped up the productivity, writing a total of 9850 more words.  6002 more on the rom com and 3848 on the superhero movie!  I felt much better this week working away and writing, and I was far more productive.
In terms of pages written, the rom com grew from 30 pages to 58 (nearly doubling) and actually got to a point where it reached a natural finishing point. The superhero movie got to 21 pages as a start, and I was really into writing it and excited about the direction on Friday.  Most of the progress on the superhero movie came on Friday this week.

Is a 2nd movie a distraction?

Wasn’t your plan to write one movie Alan?  Why have you started a second? Shouldn’t you focus?  You are always telling us to focus on one thing!

One of the things I have realised over the years is that your first idea probably isn’t going to be your best ever idea, and normally in any new pursuit you are going to have to fail a bunch of times before you actually succeed.

With this in mind, I have decided at this point that volume of content created is more important than the quality. I will then work on getting feedback, and development.

My energy for either movie changes throughout the week, so by having 2 projects to work on, when I am bored of one I can flick to the second and still make progress towards my goal of finishing a screen play.

The danger is that I split focus and don’t finish either.  I am monitoring this one and will let you know how I get on.  The way I feel at the moment with my productivity is that I could have 2 scripts done by the deadline but you just don’t know!

Feedback

In the first week’s report on the screen writing I asked for people to help me by reviewing my script.  A few of you were kind enough to volunteer and I have shared version 1 with a few people.  Why did I do this early?

  1. You can’t get to version 2 without doing version 1 so the quicker I can crank it out the more time I can spend on making it better
  2. Get out of your own bubble. It is very easy to get trapped in my own bubble in the cafe typing away and laughing at my own jokes (at least one person finds me funny!) without asking for opinion. I need perspective and opinion to help me write the best script I can!
  3. I have never done this before and I am HUNGRY to learn as much as I can and other people will help me see my blind spots

All that said, it doesn’t mean I felt comfortable doing it.  I was nervous, very nervous when I first sent it to some friends.  I hovered over the send button and paused before sending it.  You would think I am past rejection being 40 now, but it still held some fear for me as it is my work being judged!

I did it and I have got some great feedback from Jamie (my drama enthusiast friend from England) yesterday, which I am going to go through and work to develop the script. This is going to make it so much stronger!

If you would like to help give me some feedback on my scripts as I develop I would LOVE your help.  Send me a message and I will ask you as I develop things!

What else did we do in LA this week?

You can’t write 24/7!  Katie cycled for miles preparing for her 500 mile RAGBRI cycle ride, she learned the guitar and made huge progress, we ate some amazing food, and explored Santa Monica, Venice and the surrounding areas!

What I have learned this week?

I have written nearly double the words this week as opposed to last week!  What has changed and what have I learned?

  • Starting is KEY!  Just get in and start writing.  Procrastination will kill a project faster than I can eat a breakfast burrito
  • Getting into a routine helps massively.  In the first week we were in a new city, working everything out from scratch and really getting settled.  This week we bought food for the week, cooked in, got into a routine of writing in the morning and making progress
  • Get version 1 done.  I focused heavily on getting version 1 of the romantic comedy screen play written this week and out so I could get feedback and input from people.  This will lead to version 2, which will be better
  • Time can VANISH if you allow it.  See some friends, go for a walk and lunch, poodle about and the day is over.  If you aren’t careful with your time it vanishes quicker than you could imagine.  It is important to get focused on using your time as productively as you can!
  • Sit where there are no distractions and write, write, write!  I think with any project you are doing, it is how much focus and time you can put on it that helps you to make progress.  How focused have you been this week?

My new favourite location

I have found this place called the Victorian where you can sit in the garden for hours enjoying coffee and writing.  It has trees and shade all over, which is great to protect my pasty British skin!  It is a cool place to hang out!
If you drop past LA baby you will probably find me out there!

The plan for Week 3

This week coming, Katie is going off to Raleigh to go cycling with some friends so I am going to be left alone in LA for the best part of a week!  This could go one of two ways!  My hope is that this week coming I am going to be UBER productive and get lots done. My plan for this week is to:

  • Review Jamie’s (my friend from England) feedback and enhance the romantic comedy script.  I also have 3 or 4 more scenes I have dreamed up to put in there
  • Keep developing the superhero movie.  I want to get to 60 pages on this one by the end of the week
  • Get the superhero movie out to a couple of people for review to help it keep developing and growing
  • Have version 2 of the romantic comedy ready for more review


That’s the plan anyway but with Katie out anything could happen this week!

Your options are to sign up below for updates, which I may or may not send out infrequently, leave me a comment, abuse on Facebook or just check back next week!

Love you

Alan

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