“I did it!”

December 28th, 2012 by

It all started with this post on May 16th, 2012, then the formal announcement here.

I am pleased to announce “Go Into The Story: The Quest,” my attempt at creating a new pathway into Hollywood for aspiring screenwriters: A 24-week online screenwriting workshop which I will offer for free to as many as 4 writers.

Interest was incredibly high with 1,500 writers submitting nearly 4,000 loglines.

I went through every single logline, interviewed over 20 writers, eventually selecting 8, six with whom I worked in a public Quest group [you have read their dispatches], two privately because both of them worked in Hollywood.

Then there was this post on June 11, raising the possibility of creating an opportunity for people to use the Quest structure to write their own screenplay. And that led to this: Go On Your Own Quest.

We started the 24-week GOYOQ process here on July 16. A post per day, Monday through Friday, tied to the 8 weeks of Core theory, 6 weeks of Prep, then 10 weeks of Pages. Plus we created the GOYOQ Forums here where well over 100 writers registered to share their experiences as they worked on their own screenplays [the site just recently logged its 2000th comment].

And now today marks the end of the 24 week period [technically it goes through December 30, but this is the last post I’ll be making for GOYOQ].

You can read all 120 posts I did for Go On Your Own Quest — from Week 1 dealing with Plot to Week 24 covering the last stage of writing the first draft and preparing for rewrites — here.

It’s been an amazing journey. I will have news re the writers involved in Go Into The Story: The Quest sometime in January after I have a chance to review their first drafts, but on the GOYOQ front, I’ve already received a number of emails and Tweets from people who successfully pounded out a first draft of an original screenplay.

You know what? That makes me feel good. I’m happy to have provided the opportunity for people to make that leap of faith. I’m happy so many of you took it.

And so to those of you who managed to hit FADE IT, here is the final post in the GOYOQ series: “I did it!”

You can not hope to sell a script unless you write it. By overcoming all the odds you have faced, you have crossed a major threshold.

You wrote a full-length original screenplay.

You should feel proud. You should feel good. You should feel pumped.


During the week of January 7, I will post a week-long series laying out a general approach you can take to rewrite your script. Until then set aside your script. You need a set of fresh eyes to start the rewrite process. Go celebrate. Forget your story. At least for a week or two. Then reconvene here on January 7 to start your rewrite.

If you have something you’d like to share about your GOYOQ writing process, I’m sure we’d all love to read about it in comments.

The Quest” has entered Week 24 — the last week! And so did Go On Your Own Quest, an opportunity for anyone to follow the structure of “The Quest” to dig into screenwriting theory [Core – 8 weeks], figure out your story [Prep – 6 weeks], and write a first draft [Pages – 10 weeks]. It’s a 24-week immersion in the screenwriting process and you can do it here – for free!

Today and every Monday through Friday for the last 10 weeks, I have used this slot to post something inspirational as GOYOQ participants pound out their first drafts.

For background on “Go Into The Story: The Quest,” go here and here.

For all the previous weeks of Go On Your Own Quest posts, go here.

7 thoughts on ““I did it!”

  1. John Geraci says:

    Your Own Quest actually became Own Your Quest. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write the damn pages. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, some of this dialogue sucks. But finish. And I did. So thanks, Scott.

  2. Congratulations to those who got that 1st draft in the can. I have failed miserably on my quest. I’m at the 62 page mark and it’s the toughest script I’ve written. But I have to just press through and get it done-zo.

    1. Scott says:

      Chris, how about a paradigm shift: You haven’t failed, rather you are now 62 pages closer to FADE OUT. The only way out is through. Press on. Push forward. Day by day. You can DO this! Special creative juju for you: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHH!!!

    2. Shaula Evans says:

      Chris, I don’t know how I would have finished mine without the moral support from Scott and from the people in the GOYOQ forums–especially knowing that other people were juggling multiple projects, real life obligations, and ambitious GOYOQ plans.

      You’re welcome to come over and join us if you’d like the company of other people in the same boat. We’d love to have you.

      PS Scott–I really like your paradigm shift. :)

  3. TheQuietAct says:

    @ Chris Doesn’t sound like failure to me.

    I’m finished (don’t want that to sound braggy).

    That doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with the end product. But it does mean I have a tonne more to work with than I did at the start.

    The biggest factor I found that pushed me onwards was to stop overthinking the script, silencing the inner critic and editor.

    All this allowed me to get to the end of a big pile of manure.

    But manure, it turns out, is a great fertilizer for the imagination.

    Bring on the rewrites. :-)

  4. Shaula Evans says:

    I hope more GOYOQ-ers will chime in and let us know how they’re doing.

    I’m ecstatic to announce I finished my first draft today–and to make that happen I wrote over half the script this week, in a series of epic writing marathons, while my husband plied me with tea and finger foods. No placeholder dialogue, all set pieces in place–not ready to show other people by a long shot but a legitimate, 96-page first draft that in many ways surprised me and exceeded my expectations.

    In the process, I learned a lot about writing, how I write, and how I want to write–but I’ll save that for when the reality that the first draft is finished sinks in.

    Thank you very much for GOYOQ, and thank you to everyone in the forum, too. I’m not sure I would have tackled something this ambitious without so much support, and I certainly wouldn’t have it complete by now without the “deadline” GOYOQ, either.

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