Monday, August 30, 2010

A trick for writer's block (or a fun diversion)

Here’s an exercise for you to try, if you are feeling stuck, blocked, or generally just don’t feel like writing. 

Grab a published, produced, or well-known script.  It can be a play or screenplay, whatever you might be working on.  Ideally, choose a writer who you admire, but it doesn’t really matter.

Open it to the first scene, or a scene in the middle, or the last ten pages. 

Open up your MSWord or your Final Draft or whatever you use to type out your own scripts.

Start typing the script, copying the words, format, all of that.  Don’t think about it too much, just type, type, type.  Do this for about 10 to 20 minutes. 

You’ll find that the act of copying other people’s words is quite easy, but you’ll also find that merely typing a script will free you up to start typing your own words for the story you are stuck on.  It’s like doing a little warming up before going for a run.

And if it doesn’t help with that, at least you’ll have learned a little something about how a writer you admire handles a scene by taking a much closer look at it then before.


JennaN said...

Do you think this would work for writing a one-person show? I bet it might...
Any other tips for writing for yourself as a performer?

Dennis said...

I'm sure that it would, but I've never tried it. I haven't forgotten your request to get advice on writing the solo show and will post my thoughts in the next week.

JennaN said...

Did I ask you already? They say the mind is the first thing to go... I knew I had thought about it in the past when reading your blog but didn't know I'd gone so far as to write it down!
How's PA treating you? At least you have some sun there...