Screenwriting

Fade Out

You’ve been rewriting like a madman(woman). You have killed babies. You stuck your character in a tree and threw rocks. Then scratched that out and shot at them with a gatling gun. You put your characters through a living hell of their own creation, created out of their own wants and needs, their own goals and character flaws. You paid off your set-ups. You’ve seen more 12-point Courier than you ever care to for the rest of your life… until the next script. You’ve sacrificed time with family, friends, lovers, dogs, cats, and gerbils. You’ve written fade out. And you have done more than 90% of the people in the world who have uttered those immortal words, “this is a great idea for a film.”

Tyler Weaver

Image by: SaX69

Congratulations. Have a drink or ten. Remember to mash the lime and mint together when making a mojito and to use small straws so you’re not sucking in soggy mint leaves and lime bits.

And now, you’ve got a choice. Is it a spec script designed to get you in the door? Is it a film you want to make yourself? Whichever it is, you need to be aware of one thing:

It may never get made.

Even if you make it yourself. Even if you sell it. Those endlessly flowing lines of Courier may be the only life your 120-page lovechild ever sees. Things happen when a project moves out of your hands. The producer may want to re-write a sci-fi space opera into a romantic comedy. They may bring other people in. Your baby is now 17, and as Chef on South Park says, the time for everything is 17. It will change, it will become other things. And it may never see the light of day.

You have to be OK with that.

Did you write this with the expectation of fame? With the goal of winning an Oscar? The hope that voluptuous blondes will hang on either arm, feeding you grapes as you walk up to pick up your statue?

Get real.

You wrote this because you loved it. You may not have liked it all the time, but damn if you didn’t love it. You accomplished something most only dream of (or talk about on any number of social media platforms). Put it out into the world, see what happens. But don’t expect anything. No one owes you anything. You’re a writer. Writers write.

And the most important thing you’ve done? You’ve become a better writer. With each passing draft, with each passing correction, rewrite, whatever; you’ve become a better writer. Writers write. And when writers write, they get better at writing.

So take some time off. See your family. Have a wild night. Have that 11th mojito. There are more vomit drafts to produce, more babies to kill. But they can wait a bit.

But not for long. Writers write.

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