Go On Your Own Quest — Week 8: Time

September 3rd, 2013 by

The 2013 version of The Quest has entered Week 8! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by because you can Go On Your Own Quest by following 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!

Plus you can join The Black Board, the Official Online Writing Community of the Black List and Go Into The Story, another free resource to help keep you inspired and on target at you Go On Your Own Quest from FADE IN to FADE OUT on the first draft of your original screenplay.

This week, we are reflecting on the subject of time mirroring the content the Questers are engaged with in Core VIII: Time.

For those of you who plan to Go On Your Own Quest, we began our week-long discussion on time yesterday with this question: What implications derive from a screenplay being written in the present tense? You may read that discussion here. Today’s question:

* Do you write in “the moment”? How would you describe that experience?

If you plan to participate in the Go On Your Own Quest challenge, you have 1 week before we move into the Prep part of the process. Time this week to ask yourself: Why is time so important in a screenplay and what are ways I can effectively manipulate it?

If you’d like to access the same Core content as the writers participating in The Quest, I will be teaching Core VIII: Time starting Monday, November 18. More information on that 1-week online class here.

Why wait? You can have immediate access to the content of all eight Core classes by signing up for The Core Package. This enables you to go through all of the Core lectures (48 total, each written by me), tips, techniques and optional writing exercises on a self-paced basis as well as take any of the 1-week classes as I offer them. Plus The Core Package offers a nearly 50% savings compared to if you took each Core class separately. For more information on this unique offer, go here. And now is a great time because last week, I just began the entire cycle of 1-week Core classes, starting with Core I: Plot.

Meanwhile I encourage you to head to comments to discuss today’s questions. And for a related discussion on The Black Board, check out these topics:

For more information on Go On Your Own Quest, go here.

Onward!

2 thoughts on “Go On Your Own Quest — Week 8: Time

  1. Scott says:

    I suppose the question is confusing. What do I mean by “in the moment”? It’s an extension of the idea of a script being written in present tense, so the thrust of the question is are you experiencing the scene as you write it, are you in a sense participating in it as a witness as it unfolds?

    As writers, there are points in our process where we should do everything we can to be as close to the action as possible and the very real sense that anything can happen. Hopefully that sense of energy and potential can work its way into our words.

    So “in the moment” means being in the present tense mode of the scene as it plays out as opposed to writing it from a perspective of after the fact.

  2. JoniB22 says:

    Yep, clear as mud…

    Still struggling to answer this one.

    Yes, I definitely write present tense / active — in fact, reading good screenwriting has spoiled me against reading boring, dragging-on fiction, as I have little patience when reading a book if the author is rambling…

    I feel like I brainstorm my story/plot and I know my beats and where I’m going ahead of time, ahead of sitting down and writing scenes … and I may or may not have some tidbit of dialogue and usually know what needs to be “planted” in a particular scene, but yeah, I think I do my best to then sidecar all that and try to write IN THE MOMENT.

    My best writing comes either while writing long-hand or typing in Word, anything other than in the screenwriting software. (If I write in the software, I’m more concerned with how things look than what it says. I’m trying to break myself of being an editor too early in the process, but it’s tough!! I want pages amassing!!) But steering clear of the software allows me to free-write and feel most in the moment and roam at will to see what all surfaces. There’s a rush that comes with this sort of free-writing — that excitement of the happy surprises that may come out. It’s most fun when I learn something new that maybe I hadn’t planned on for a character or a particular story beat.

    Seems to happen most if I write long-hand — but then, because I’m flying, I can’t always read my handwriting later on. So with my new script, I’m trying to do more writing in Word on this ancient beast of a laptop. What’s really fun is if I’m doing so like at Starbucks or somewhere and I have one of those happy discoveries — I might bust out laughing or do a few mid-air fistpumps. But honestly? If the story’s better for it, I don’t mind looking like a dork!!

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