I had the pleasure of working with dozens of students at NYU and in my private classes in 2009 and watched as more than 50 of my writers completed a full first draft or a complete rewrite of their feature length scripts. That’s just about one new script completed every week!
Interestingly enough, almost all of them had the same problem when they first started working with me. None of them were telling the “right” story.
When writers bring me a story (often material they have been slogging through for years) they are almost never writing about something they know/care about. Most first screenplays people write never sell because the story is too big and too impersonal to be sold and it’s only when they write a story close to their heart that they get interest from the market.
My advice to them (and to you) is either finish that first story quicly to get it out of your system, or just write the second story first.
Attached to this post is a typewriter exercise entitled “A film by Mitch Ansara: Man Blowing a Bubble.” It was produced in 1972 and uses symbols to tell a very simple story but with the current popularity of emoticons it could have been made today.
As an exercise:
Take a moment to consider the story you’re working on right now. Is it a big story or a small story? Is it close to your heart or just something you want to write? Will it be outdated by the time it gets made or stand the test of time?