Outlining the new screenplay; it helps to have a pen. #screenwriting

I did something yesterday that I normally don’t do on weekdays. I went out for a beer, with the intent on writing while I was there. I’m such a boring person in that when I do go out for a drink or two I only do so on Fridays or Saturdays. But I needed a change of pace. Besides, my dinner at home didn’t cut it so I needed to get something to eat as well. I got to the bar, ordered a beer and some chips and started to work on the outline for the screenplay.

I say “started” because I only got as far as the first few letters before I realized that the only pen I took was dry. The bartender offered me hers but I felt weird accepting it. I told her I only wanted to jot down a note to myself and that I would just remember it. It was partially true. I finally had a story in my head that I can flesh out successfully (I think). I don’t know why I felt weird about borrowing her pen. I think it had to do with how long I was going to use it. Anyway, I wrote down the first plot point in the memo app on my phone. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, so I gave up and just enjoyed the beer.

I then went out for dinner tonight. Again, I don’t do that in the middle of the week. But I had to go to the dump and the library. I didn’t feel like waiting until I got home to eat. I figured I would just hold off the frozen food I had waiting to me until next week. Anyway, I had taken my notebook and a good pen to work with the intent on writing on my lunch break. I didn’t manage that but I did get a lot more done than I expected at the pizza place. I nearly finished outlining act one. The only real reason I didn’t was simply because I was done with my dinner. I didn’t want to outstay my welcome.

I didn’t manage to get any more work on it done this evening. I spent too much time on the road just trying to decide if I wanted to go to a coffee shop or not. I didn’t feel like paying for parking in downtown Portsmouth and it was too cold to walk the distance from the municipal lot. I ended up spending a quarter on just enough time to grab a coffee and come home. But I spent too much time deciding on it. Oh, well—I got caught up on the latest Harmontown podcast, anyway.

I don’t expect to take too much time on this part of the process. I think I finally have something to work with here. I still have the same fear that I usually do when I outline longer works. I get worried that I write down too many short scenes and the overall project won’t be long enough. I know, I shouldn’t worry about length anyway as long as it’s good. But I want to make sure a screenplay is long enough to be marketable. Shorter lengths tend to only be accepted with “art films.” This is my own generalization only based on being something of a minor movie buff. But if it helps my creativity, who am I to complain about my own hang-up?

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One thought on “Outlining the new screenplay; it helps to have a pen. #screenwriting

  1. Better too little than too much, in my opinion. 120 pages is the max that’s generally accepted for production, right?

    I’m 80 pages through my screenplay. Seems like it’s going nowhere, but I’m having a go.

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