Zero Draft Thirty 2017 September Challenge: Story Prep (Part 9) —Get Your Head On Straight

A series to help prepare writers for next month’s writing challenge.

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 2017 September Challenge is for you!


September 1: You type FADE IN / “Once upon a time…”
September 30: You type FADE OUT / “…They all lived happily ever after.”

It’s free! It’s fun! It’s Fade In to Fade Out!

For everything you need to know to join, click here.

To help prepare writers for the #ZD30SCRIPT Challenge, the last two weeks, I’ve been running a series on Story Prep.

Today in Part 9: Get Your Head On Straight

Here’s the deal. No first draft of any written project — novel, short story, play, feature length screenplay, TV pilot script, poem — is EVER going to be perfect. It is ALWAYS going to need to be rewritten.

This is the key to getting your head on straight about writing anything, but especially something you’re going to write in 30 days.

The perfectionist in you may recoil at the very idea of writing something which is imperfect. But as this famous screenwriting guru notes below:

It’s a FACT! What we do in the Zero Draft Thirty Challenge is EMBRACE that fact. So if our first draft is going to be imperfect… indeed, writing a draft in thirty days, there’s a very good chance it’s going to suck…

Then lean into that mofo and call it a ZERO DRAFT!

What you write in the next month is not even expected to be a first draft, rather it’s a pre-first draft.

A vomit draft. A muscle draft. A Zero Draft!

The point of the #ZD30SCRIPT challenge is to put down words and p0und out pages. No judgment. No negativity. No perfectionism.

30 days of removing the weight of expectations with one single goal:


Fade In. Fade Out.

So THAT is what I mean by getting your head on straight for this Challenge. Spend a month punting perfectionism and replace it with productivity. Word after word… page after page…

Just. Write.

The Zero Draft Thirty 2017 September Challenge officially begins tonight at Midnight Eastern Daylight Time (U.S.). I’ll note that on Twitter with our official hashtag: #ZD30SCRIPT.

Tomorrow I will post the first of 30 daily Zero Draft Thirty Challenge posts here on the blog during the month of September.

Also at Midnight (EDT) Friday, September 1, many of the good folks at the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group will be taking turns hosting our monthly 24 Hour Writing Scamper-A-Thon. To learn more, go here.

Part 1: “What if…”
Part 2: Gender-Bending
Part 3: Genre-Bending
Part 4: Think International
Part 5: Franchise
Part 6: Character Development
Part 7: Index Cards

Have you got your story concept waxed and ready to rock and roll in the Zero Draft Thirty 2017 September Challenge? Come back here every day in September to share the experience with a slew of other writers.

Zero Draft Thirty Challenge: Punt Perfectionism, Pump-Up Productivity.

Twitter: #ZD30SCRIPT.

Facebook: Zero Draft Thirty.