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08/02/2006 - LEARNING BY DOING PART V
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I've already talked about the importance of rewriting so I won't go into it again here-although, surprisingly, it's one of those rules of writing that always bear repeating. Why? Because so many new screenwriters are resistant to it.

Rather than tell you again how crucial rewriting is to the screenwriting and filmmaking process I'll get into the type of screenwriter (and every other kind of writer as well) who is particularly prone to NOT take to rewriting.

Specifically, it's the explosive writer. You know who you are. You're the kind who sits down and bursts out 30 pages (or more) in one maniacal writing session. You're totally in the zone. You've lost all concept of time. All you know is that the juices are flowing and nothing's going to stop you.

So you finish and you're spent, literally.

You read what you wrote. Or you give it to someone to read. Or a couple people. Or you're in a class and the whole class hears it. And the upshot is that parts of it are good. Maybe large parts.

But other parts aren't. They're bad. Overwritten. Underwritten. The dialogue jumps off the page in some scenes and just lies there in others.

So you get your feed back and it's time to go and re-do those 30 pages, but you can't.

You can't.

You might want to, but you can't.

Because you're spent. You blew your wad that first explosive time and to get back to that state of mind is something you have a hard time doing.

So you'll either abandon the project or try to keep going forward with it, hoping for another inspired explosive-writing session (which may come, but it'll result in the same thing: parts good, parts bad that need fixing, but you can't do it).

If you stick with it you might be able to have a few more explosive bursts and get a first draft. But you'll still have to go back and fix the stuff that doesn't work.

Or you'll just start another project by having a big explosive burst and the process will start all over again.

The screenwriters I've encountered who are like this never (or seldom, very seldom) complete a first draft.

What's the solution for screenwriters like this? I wish I had an answer other than to try and condition yourself to writing in a less manic way. All writing on a new project is pretty much energy. You have an outline and you have a fairly good idea where you're going and your excited about the story, so you first efforts are filled with creative energy.

What follows that is the discipline of reining yourself and your initial work in.

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