Film Courage: Do you think a screenwriter should write their first draft as quickly as possible, just regurgitate it out of themselves and then revise from there?
Pilar Alessandra: Ahh! You’re talking about the vomit draft aren’t you, right? We have such nice expressions for it. Yes, I do. And I urge my students not to look back. That’s where the perfections start to come in and they stop up their writing process and they have these beautiful first acts and then they never go any further. So yes, by all means, write to the end. And then you can go back in and you can start honing in or chiseling away at it, fattening it up, making it better. But write to the end.
Film Courage: So if they plan to do a 90-page script, don’t stop in the middle and make sure that it’s okay. They’ve got to just get it all out.
Pilar Alessandra: Right, barrel forward. I think so many people make the mistake of going back and rereading what they wrote the day before and polishing up with what they wrote and only moving this much further. We don’t have enough time, you know? We only set so much writing time a day. You’ve got to make as much use of that as you can and press forward.
Film Courage: Is there a timeframe for writing this first script?
Pilar Alessandra: I think that timeframe is personal. It really depends on where you can fit it in your life. You know, I’ve made my whole philosophy of teaching is writing in ten minute increments because being a busy person myself and knowing that my writers are busy, so I do believe that what ever time you can make the best use of it as long as you focus.
Question for the Viewers: How long does it generally take you to write the first draft of a screenplay?
Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time
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