This Simple Habit Could Change the Way You Write Screenplays
It really is simple, but it's highly effective.
We know, we know: these days, everyone claims to have "simple hack" that could change the way you do something or other. But, in effect, most of these tricks aren't that simple; they often involve complex efforts to re-wire your brain into more productive habits.
Vucko, however, has a truly elementary pointer for writers. It's as simple as writing it all down on paper. In the video below, he argues that a break from screen-time to physically write things down throughout your day is the most effective way to commit to—and gain clarity about—that which you write.
For screenwriters, enforcing this habit means intermittently disengaging from Celtx or Final Draft, even when you're at your desk, trying to write your screenplay. When was the last time you sat down and put pen to paper in the writing process? (No—it doesn't count if you were also interfacing with or referring to a screen.) Next time you sit down to write, put yourself in front of a piece of paper. See what comes out.
Do you carry around notebooks for "brain dumps"? Vucko argues that writing things down as they come to you—on the train, stopped at a red light, in the grocery store—will further open your mind creatively, since your brain doesn't have to focus on remembering that great idea or line of dialogue. Research shows that writing these notes down by hand (rather than typing them on Evernote or Google Docs) is more intellectually stimulating for your brain, boosting your memory and your ability to create.
Screenwriting can be an emotional struggle, so don't make it any harder for yourself. Go out and buy a Moleskine or Post-It notes.