As fellow No Film School and feature-film script writer Christopher Boone would tell you (you're my boy, blue!), writing is something you have to practice daily. The hardest part sometimes is just motivating yourself to stop staring at the blank page and just write something. If you're the type of person who enjoys a challenge, then perhaps a fun way to get a few good pages in every day is a free platform called 750 Words. Hit the jump for a full rundown on the site, and how it could be a boon to your screenwriting creativity:
Created by Seattle entrepreneur Buster Benson, 750 Words is essentially a "brain dump" for you to write -- you guessed it -- 750 words daily. Your writing is private and secure, though there is a budding community growing on the platform. From the About Page:
I've used the exercise as a great way to think out loud without having to worry about half-formed ideas, random tangents, private stuff, and all the other things in our heads that we often filter out before ever voicing them or writing about them. It's a daily brain dump. Over time, I've found that it's also very helpful as a tool to get thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help get to the bottom of a rotten mood.
750 Words is the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of this exercise.
Fun-ified, you say? I'M IN. Though the graphical side of 750 Words is downplayed, there are a few fun features, including merit badges for meeting writing goals, like writing for a consecutive number of days in a row. This is based on a point system.
Let's get to some of the more utilitarian features. One key feature is the ability to export your text, which is necessary for any serious uses of your work. Another that I'm interested in is the metadata feature. All you need to do is simply line-break and use CAPITAL LETTERS then a colon (:), and then some text. The site lists "WATCHED: The Fantastic Mr. Fox", for example. I could see myself using something like "IDEA RANK: Terrible" for a new script or some freeflow. (And because I have terrible ideas.)
There is a caveat to the platform that I want to be sure to point out -- there is no password retrieval (or so says the FAQ). This is probably because it's a new platform that's still in development. That's not a big deal if you're like me and use a variation of the same password universally, or if you sign in with Facebook, Gmail, or the like, but it's worth noting just the same. I'd hate to completely lose all my work due to something as simple as an incorrect password with no password-y accident forgiveness.
Again, 750 Words is free to use, though he encourages patrons to buy him a cup of coffee should they see fit on his "good patrons" page (which also gets you a badge, as it happens).
Anyone tried one of these writing challenge websites before? Interested in this one?