Like many writers, I have experienced roadblocks to my writing. I think I’ve dealt with a bit of everything. However, there’s one thing that has afflicted me more frequently. Something that gives me pause for some time.
I’ve dealt with writing myself into a corner.
Now, if you’ve done any amount of screenwriting, you know that most screenplays follow the three act structure (not all, but it’s the most common). As I write, I notice that I start hitting a point earlier than I should. It throws off my pacing. Once the pacing is off, then I lose where it is I want to go with the story.
That’s not to say that I can’t figure my way out of it. It takes time. Sometimes it takes a little time. Sometimes it takes me a year.
I’ve dealt with having written myself into a corner for about 6 months on my latest screenplay. I would like to have it completed by now, but when I write myself into a corner, it’s pretty definitive.
So, how do I get myself out of the corner?
Well, what I usually do is step away from the script and look at it with fresh eyes. That generally works with most problems (including math problems). So, I try that. Unfortunately, that time frame winds up being longer than desired. However, it does work out… I would like things to work out more quickly and reliably (especially where time frame is concerned).
There is one thing that I know can work pretty well and I have yet to do it. I could outline my story. Plot out all the major points and all the sub-points.
This is something that I don’t do. I also know that I should.
I’ve given myself some pretty bad habits, but I’ve also given myself some good habits as well. After the first draft and I see what I have written, I further flesh out the characters to try to develop more unique characters.
So, maybe it’s about time that I reform my screenwriting style. I like to let my story grow organically, but it’s also been responsible for leaving me with long periods of time where I’m not working on a script. If I want to do this professionally, I need to focus on getting a quicker turnaround time on my first draft.
Who knows, maybe this will enhance my writing. There’s only one way to truly find that out.