Today’s guest blogger, Bradford Richardson, started in features as the Lead Graphic Designer for the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, then The Big Lebowski. His other projects included Tim Burton’s unfinished Superman Lives. He transitioned into screenwriting and became a two-time Austin Film Festival Second-Rounder and a two-time Top-Ten Finalist in Screamfest LA Horror Screenwriting Competition. He recently won 2nd Place in Debra Eckerling’s Write-On Online Script Concept Competition, with his new romantic comedy concept, Walter Crisp’s Girlfriend Do-Over. Bradford proves that it’s not the size of the blog that matters; wisdom can be short, sweet, and universal. He has truly captured Blake’s voice:
I‘ve heard that the number one reason screenwriters don’t finish a first draft of their idea is that they fall out of love with it.
That got me thinking… (creaky rusty gear noise)…
Writing a detailed Blake Snyder Beat Sheet for your idea while you’re still in love with the concept is the best guide to completion of the first draft, especially if you’re like me, and inevitably decide to despise your idea somewhere in the middle of writing that draft.
Then I realized… (grinding gears)… DRUM ROLL…
What if falling out of love with your idea while writing the first draft is merely a natural part of the creative process?
Once you’ve pulled back the magic curtain, taken off the rose-colored glasses, rolled-up your sleeves, and started bolting your Beat Sheet scenes together into the roller-coaster framework of a whole story, you’ve reached beyond the love which inspired the original concept to a place of self-respect and personal responsibility—where finishing what you’ve started is the greater goal.
So hang in there, screenwriter! Recognize the inherent ups-and-downs of the creative process, use your love-inspired Beat Sheet as the guide to reaching your goal… and never quit!