Do you have a story you want to write? A feature length movie screenplay? An original TV pilot? A web series pilot? A novel? Short story? An epic length limerick?
The Zero Draft Thirty Spring 2016 Challenge is for you!
March 1: You type FADE IN / Once upon a time.
March 30: You type FADE OUT / And they all lived happily ever after.
Hold on. I’ve just heard from the proper authorities that our request for an additional day in March has been granted. So technically, you’ve got 31 days, but since we’ve already got all the invitations printed as Zero Draft Thirty, we’ll just keep it at that.
In any event, here is some background on exactly what the Zero Draft Thirty Challenge is. On October 15, 2015, I posted this, inviting people to join me in November as I pounded out a draft of a comedy script. Hundreds of people responded.
So I posted this a few days later. Hundreds more people enlisted in the cause. We even got a groovy visual to go along with the initiative:
Then every day for 30 days in November, I did a Zero Draft Thirty post with inspirational writing quotes, videos, and handed out a daily Trumbo Award to the person who was deemed worthy for their efforts in supporting our collective cause.
Eventually over 1000 writers joined up for the Challenge. Via Facebook, Twitter, or email, nearly 200 writers let me know they had finished their Zero Drafts.
In processing all of this and noting how I had long promoted the idea that we should aim to write two scripts per year, I thought why not do a spring ZDT Challenge and a fall ZDT Challenge.
Hence the Zero Draft Thirty 2016 Spring Challenge in March.
And you are cordially invited.
Here is a ZDT primer:
Why did you start Zero Draft Thirty?
NaNoWriMo, the write a novel in a month outfit, used to run Script Frenzy, but stopped it in 2012. So why not fill that space here to coincide with our writerly cohorts as they plow through their novels?
Why the name Zero Draft Thirty?
When I posted the initial announcement, I made a point that this is not about writing perfect pages, rather this is about pounding out a first draft. I noted how some writers call that initial iteration of a script a vomit draft. Some a muscle draft. And some a zero draft. GITS reader Orange Pop came up with a great title: Zero Draft Thirty.
Zero Draft = Get The Damn Thing Done Draft!
Thirty = November 1-November 30
You can shorthand it: ZDT or ZD30.
You mentioned Twitter. Does the Challenge have a hashtag?
Indeed it does. As you may know, I am all over Twitter, currently with 34,000 followers (@GoIntoTheStory). So whenever you Tweet anything to do with ZDT, use this hashtag:
What if we want to write a TV pilot or rewrite a script?
Absolutely you can use ZDT for any scripted project. In fact, I’m going to be rewriting – again – the script I wrote in November.
So how do we interact?
Every day at 6PM Eastern / 3PM Pacific, I will do a ZDT post here. In it, I will include an inspirational quote, perhaps some reflections on the quote, add a motivaitonal video, I don’t have that all figured out, I’m just going to feel my way through it. I’m sure you folks will have some ideas or comments which will inspire me to feature something in the daily posts.
The daily posts are cool, but again where’s the interaction part?
As you know, my posts have a comments section. That means you can click Comment and write something on any/all of the ZDT daily posts. Then I will read your comments. Other writers will read your comments. I’ll post comments on your comments. Other writers will post comments on your comments. It will be comments, comments, comments all day, all night. That’s interaction. Of course, we could all choose a resort location, fly there, and interact, but all those mixed drinks with little umbrellas get in the way of writing, so we best stick with comments.
What sort of comments should we make?
Anything you want, but since the whole point of the ZDT Challenge is to motivate each of us to pound out pages and get from FADE IN to FADE OUT, at the very least, I would hope you drop in often — ideally on a daily basis — and let us know how many pages you wrote in the previous 24 hours. But feel free to share your joy… or your pain. If you need a boost, ask for it. If you feel inspired, share your insights.
So the comments are really about creating a supportive environment, right?
You took the words right out of my mouth… fingers… keyboard.
I heard you would do ‘writing scampers’. What’s that about?
Several pro writers including Jane Espenson and John August from time to time invite people via Twitter to join them in 1 hour writing sprints. We came up with writing scampers as a way of embracing the Zero Draft spirit. I’d do them most every day during the Challenge as would others. It’s a great way to feel the support of other writers knowing while you’re in a writing scamper, other Scamperers are with you.
What’s this thing you mentioned about The Trumbo Award?
I had an inspiration: What if each day, I select one writer based on their comments and celebrate their creative effort with this:
See that guy? That’s Dalton Trumbo. You can read about him here. He’s a famous screenwriter. But in relation to the ZDT Challenge, it’s all about the bathtub. I mean, dude liked to write in the tub. In fact, there’s even a statue of Trumbo in his home town of Grand Junction, Colorado… in the bathtub!
So obviously we just gotta give out The Trumbo Award every day to the ZDT participant with the best comment. I mean, c’mon, right? It’s a photo. Of a screenwriter. Writing. In a bathtub! Hopefully this hallowed award will come to be known simply as… The Trumbo. As in, “Dude, I posted an awesome comment at GITS, and I totally won The Trumbo!”
Any other ZDT motivational goodies?
Two writers, Chris Neumann and Shelly Artello, created ZD30 calendars for November. Hopefully we can crowdsource a calendar or two for the March challenge. It’s amazing how something as tangible as a calendar can serve as a motivational tool.
So I post script pages here?
NO!!! YOU DO NOT POST SCRIPT PAGES!!! THEY ARE YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY!!! YOU WANT TO PROTECT YOUR CREATIVE OUTPUT!!! AGAIN… DO NOT POST SCRIPT PAGES HERE!!!
WAIT. SORRY. THE VOLUME LEVEL GOT STUCK ON 11. LET ME DIAL… IT… DOWN…
Ah, got it. Just to underscore this point, the Zero Draft Thirty Challenge is all about one thing: Motivating each of us to write a script draft. That’s the focus. Not reviewing script pages. Not networking. Use the Challenge to get from FADE IN to FADE OUT.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please post in comments.
The Zero Draft Thirty 2016 Spring Challenge.
March 1: Type FADE IN / In the Beginning.
March 31: Type FADE OUT / The End.
30 31 days. A first draft of an original story.
It’s cool! It’s crazy! It’s free!
Don’t forget the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group. A terrific collection of folks who post things every day, even when we’re not in a challenge.
So calling all Zeronauts, Outlaws, Scamperers, and Writing Warriors. Who’s up for pounding out a Zero Draft in March? LET’S DO THIS THING!