Deadlines and scriptwriting

Putting up deadlines and following them religiously has been one of my resolutions for this year. Yeah, I have heard all the usual suspects of an argument against deadlines in writing. ‘In art, you are compromising on the quality of your work by not making it as best as it can be,’ ‘Good art is about committing yourself to something regardless of the cost of time and opportunities’ etc. But in my experience, I am compromising on the quality of my writing when I am not conscientious about the time that I am putting into various aspects of writing.

Because otherwise I would spend three months or more into outlining when I should have finished it in a month and then another couple of months into the treatment. Then finally when I come into the first draft, I would realise that there were inherent issues in the execution of the script which would make most of the work in the previous phases invalid and useless. Often mere fatigue and irritation will force me to push many issues under the carpet.

It has been my experience that to really come up with a good script, one need to go with the intensive and extensive work hand in hand. At least for me, however hard you scrutinize and work on the first round of outlining/ treatment/ drafting, there will be crucial issues that you are only going to detect in your second or third draft. So there is some truth in the saying that ‘vomit out your first draft as fast as possible.’ If some one decides to spend two month each on outlining, treatment and drafting, I would suggest that rather than doing it in blocks, one should spend one month each on each of these stages and then go back to drawing board in the next three months. That way, I feel that your script is going to be 100% better.

Photo by justmakeit