Posts tagged ‘commandments’

September 6, 2013

The 3 Commandments of Writing

5304492399_805a329467_nJames Clear has put together a variety of interviews from famous fiction writers on their daily writing routines. While I don’t think any of these writers are screenwriters, what they have to say lines up perfectly with everything that I have learned about screenwriting.

Of course, everyone writes a bit differently, and you have to find what works for you. But there are a few truisms present throughout James’ list that I have seen repeated over and over again in articles and books, and from those truisms I have created a list of writing commandments.

I have trouble taking this list to heart in my own writing, but I truly believe that no one can succeed as a writer until they follow each of these screenwriting commandments:

1. Write regularly.

Many writers say that you must write every single day (though I think some of these same people technically mean five days a week), and while I think that is an amazing goal to strive toward, it is also a setup for failure. When I miss a day of writing, I feel shitty, and that discourages me from writing the next day.

I think the more prudent advice is to set a schedule for yourself and write as often and as much as you can. Maybe with your busy work life, that means you commit to writing at least 3 days a week, and it doesn’t matter which days those are. Maybe with your more easy going student existence, you can commit to writing every afternoon for at least two hours. Personally, with my flexible freelance schedule, I’m going to commit to writing for at least three hours every weekday morning. (Hold me to it.)

read more »

April 10, 2012

The 11 Commandments of Writing

Henry Miller, author of the novel Tropic of Cancer composed this list of writing commandments for himself while working on said novel. Though Miller is a novelist, his commandments apply to any type of writing project:

(Thanks to Treasure LA for sharing this list with me.)

COMMANDMENTS

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
    read more »