Woo hoo! My NYU Student, Helen, completed her screenplay in six weeks, and it’s good. I’m so proud of her! Helen’s accomplishment is an inspiration to all of us. We just have to commit to the motto of the HorowitzSystem ®: “Don’t get it right, get it written.” Brava, Helen!
My webinar, How to Write a Great Scene, was really fun, and I’ll be giving another one in two weeks, and will let you know when and where. There was a confusion about the day of the week, and in the future, the webinars will be held on Wednesday evenings between 7:00-8:30 pm EST.
The most important takeaway from last night’s webinar is that all good writing is the result of rewriting. This is true whether you’re writing a book, a novel, or a single scene. One of the goals of the writing system is to help you write that first attempt well, so that rewriting can lift your words to excellence, not just acceptability.
Therefore, in order to write well, you must create a first draft that can be rewritten.
If you will take this advice seriously, and take on the necessity of getting words on paper, nothing can stop you from success!
To gain discipline, you must both create time to do it and to limit that time so that you will do it. Use a timer set in fifteen-minute increments, and note writing appointments in your calendar and keep them.
Knowing in advance what you’ll be writing about is another key ingredient for success, so plan to use a writing prompt to do a short story or exercise before you tackle the main work.
Here are several exercises that will get you writing. In each case, set a timer for five minutes, and then reset and continue writing if you’re inspired. If not, try a different exercise for five minutes. Whether or not you’re inspired, you’ll be ready to work on your project.
1. Write about delicious food or drink you haven’t had in a long time, and whether or not you’d like to have it again, and why or why not.
2. Describe your keyring. What door does each key open, and what does that location and the people in it mean to you? Is there a charm, or gym membership on the keyring? What do they mean to you?
3. Retell a beloved story from your childhood. This can be a real memory, or retelling the plot of a favorite book, TV episode, or film.
4. Repeat exercise number one for your main character, and/or your villain or obstacle
5. Repeat exercise number two for your villain or obstacle.
6. Repeat exercise number three for your villain or obstacle.
To recap, since all writing is the product of rewriting, to write well, you must first write something! I hope these writing prompts inspire you, and look forward to seeing you at my next Webinar.
As always, I‘m thrilled to introduce Episode# 42 of Jokonastick.com. Visit our website and see how many times you can laugh! Subscribe and share!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz