It’s faster to create a concept than write an entire script. However, it’s a good idea to have 1-2 low budget scripts in order for people to want to look at your ideas. This is for a few reasons, the more you write the more you’ll improve. You need to have an alternative – you don’t like that idea? Take a look at this! And to reassure decision makers that you can generate work. This doesn’t mean to wait to market yourself if you don’t have multiple pieces, it’s rather that writing is a process, your screenwriting career is a process and you need to build momentum.
What Are Screenwriting Goals
A goal might be to create 10 good low budget screenplay ideas, then select 3-5 to write 1-pagers. A 1-pager is just what it sounds like – a page that outlines the title, genre, logline, synopsis and tone of what the completed script is about.
Why do that first? Writing a one-pager can help you realize if the idea is really suitable for a complete script. Maybe one you read it on one page, you’ll see that it’s really meant to be a short story. Or a podcast. Or that it’s not suitable as a movie, but would best be written for an episodic medium like television.
Using your strongest concepts allows you to shortcut the time that it takes to get more work done, more quickly. Writing an entire screenplay will take you longer than writing a one-pager, so working in this way is more efficient, and puts your best concepts up front.
Set Your Screenwriting Goals Now
Decide your specific output. Whether that is that are going to write one complete low budget screenplay, of a handful of 1-pagers
What is your first simple action? Make a specific strategy for it (write for 30 minutes)
Schedule this goal into your calendar (when you’ll do the work, maybe 3 days a week, after work, etcetera)
When do you want to complete it? Assigning a due date puts some urgency into the process
Tell a friend (or 2)
Make a basic timeline and put it up where you can see it. That will remind you of your goal and that it’s important.
Plan something public to do with the script to help you. The word ‘public’ is relative. It may be that you plan a reading or enter a contest, or share your script with some beta readers. It doesn’t matter exactly. Selecting whatever will motivate you in the process is what’s important. It doesn’t have to be a major competition, it could be something that pertains to a genre you might want to write in, is local, or something else. This isn’t a make or break type goal, it’s to have a goal outside of yourself
Once you’ve created your goal. Take your emotional temperature. How do you feel? If you’re excited or even nervous, that’s great. If you feel stressed or down, then bag it. Select a goal that feels easy, such as coming up with 3-4 basic ideas. Then pick your favorite.
Emotions and energy are closely tied, so do your best in this process to keep feeling good!