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First Draft: Step Up Your Game With These Seven New Year’s Resolutions For Screenwriters

First Draft: Step Up Your Game With These Seven New Year’s Resolutions For Screenwriters

Screenwriting

2. Write Faster

Let’s just be real here. It shouldn’t take a year to finish a script. In fact, it shouldn’t even take six months. While it’s okay to take some time to learn while you’re writing your first script, the truth is that if you can’t finish a script within 2-4 months, you’re not cut out for the business.

The general assignment contract in Hollywood allows a hired writer 10 weeks to finish the first draft of a script. If they’re not replaced after that draft is handed in, they get an additional couple of weeks (give or take) for the next draft and then a couple more for the eventual polished draft. While contracts may differ, this is the general breakdown that screenwriters should be expecting.

So this year, start to train yourself to be able to finish the first draft of that next script in just 10 weeks. Different writers will have different schedules and different processes, however, whatever is utilized needs to fall in line with the expectations of the powers that be. So writers need to adapt. Whatever it takes, get that first draft done in 10 weeks. Plain and simple. Then step away for a week or so, come back to it, and start your second draft for a couple of weeks. After that, it’s a polished draft and you should be done.

Sure, since you’re not under contract (yet), you have some breathing room, so this could allow for anywhere between 2-4 months for a final draft, but the major point is that you want to train yourself to be able to write and write fast. And as long as you’re doing well with Resolution #1 (write smarter), it’s honestly not that difficult to finish that script fast and have a solid page-turner that every studio reader and powers that be are hoping for. And this will also allow you to…

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