By: Amelie Tsoungui
Writing can be a drag, especially if you have a lot going on. But it is something that is a stress reliever once you start doing it. I started writing not only because of my major but because I found that the world that I was creating was a safe space for me. I put my heart into writing because it just really clears my head, no matter how complex the idea I have might be. Having encouragement from others as well is something that I live for. Knowing that people are rooting for me and just putting pressure on me to write what I want is something I live for.
the first draft
One of the best parts of writing to me is the first draft. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to finish a draft and then read it right after. It opens your eyes to the holes in the story and makes you expand on your idea. Another part of writing that I enjoy is the first feedback you get. It can be nerve-racking, but that is where I really thrive. Writers can’t always see what is missing with the story, so getting input from a peer is what drives me to write an even better second draft.
I won’t lie I am currently in a writing slump. I can’t write because I am in school, and I am overwhelmed with work. I like writing when I’m freer and when I have time to let my brain process ideas. It has been difficult thinking about writing because life just seems like it is kicking my ass. But this is all worth it. I needed this break; everyone needs a break. As life continues to get a little bit rougher, I have to soldier on, we all do.
So, keep your head up and fill it with ideas, when you decide to give yourself a break, write!!!
what's your favorite part of writing?
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There comes a time where you look at, you’re writing and say…what is the point of this? Who am I writing for? I do that daily. I think it is just a daily reminder for purpose. What is the purpose behind your writing, why do you care so much about writing? With every story comes a wild experience in my life. With every story comes the answer to every question.
I write for my friends and for me. My best friends and I have experienced a lot, and it is from those stories that I get my feature film ideas. There is no way that I couldn’t write about them just because these stories are meant to be told, no matter how much they are watered down. Now look, maybe not every story is important, but it stems from one of the fears I had growing up and how I conquered them.
These stories are really about me conquering things I thought that I never could.
No seriously, sometimes I think about what if I never got into writing, would this all be worth it? Probably not, but here’s the thing, I can’t spend too much time focusing on the “what if’s”.
I have to focus on my future and on my writing. My love for writing is deep, and I’m glad I found something that has helped me talk about what I have been through.
Plus, there is nothing more pleasant than a story that humbles you so much you can’t get it out of your head!
So, what is your purpose? Why do you write what you write?
Comment below! I'd love to hear your perspective!
This is YOUR sign to start.
Get those feelings onto the page and
discover the magic within!
Does anyone else get super nervous when it is time to put all your work onto that Final Draft document? C’mon I know I’m not alone. See I’ve been having a hard time trying to put my body into starting this feature film idea that I have but I’m nervous. Nervous to write? Yes, that’s a thing. You know what’s crazy, it’s that I have already written two feature films, two. So why is this 3rd one so hard to write? Motivation, at least that’s what I think.
Something that always stumps my creativity is motivation. If I have none then I cannot get work done. I’m the type of person who does not need to be motivated to write at all, but I think that quarantine has changed that for me. Being home all the time is something that I never thought would happen a senior year, but it did, so I have been doing a lot regarding school and work and my writing. But overall, I am coming around to that especially after watching a bunch of movies that inspired my movies.
I am a neat freak in life. I like to spread that to my writing because it helps me evenly lay out my story, at least my first draft. I like to develop a lot, there is nothing more satisfying than having a plan for what you’re going to write. I’ve searched the internet to listen to all these famous screenwriters talk about their writing process but in the end, it made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Not that what they were saying is wrong but it’s just like I felt obligated to try to write like them. The motivation was not there but I did learn a great deal from some of the best writers.
A piece of my outline for my script While in Tennessee, my first ever feature film !
where do you begin?
My experience with writing a feature is always one that I enjoy. The first draft is the hardest because for the first time you are putting words down on paper ad what if it doesn’t match up to what you’re expecting? It is ok, it’s always going to be hard to navigate yourself through a story but that is the best part about it, it’s your journey.
How you lead yourself is how you will finish no matter how you write. The motivation should come from within and focus on getting your characters to the finish line. Just remember it’s you writing it, but it is their story.
So, don’t feel bad if you need to take some extra time for yourself before you start a writing journey because when you do, you’re going to have to give it 100%. Taking your time when writing is vital. Some of the best moments come to us when we are taking our time to carefully plan something and sometimes that’s not the case. Either way however and whenever you write, be confident because you’ve brought your story that far and it’s time to take it to the next step.
By Amelie Tsoungui
Why do people write?
Some say that it's in us and others say that when you get inspired to do something you just do it. See, anyone can be a writer, but it takes some time to find yourself writing correctly. Where some of us born to write? Yes. Does that mean that other people cannot write? No. Jump into the deep waves and put your pen to that paper. Now you may be thinking...
how do I write?
For me, it is fairly simple. Most of the time I am writing in a journal all day, so that is a little personal. When it comes to writing for film or television, I am always prepared. I have notes that I use to help me figure out what directions I want to take a show or film. I am always confident that you can never get something on the first try that is why I keep all of my notes.
Writing should be able to help anyone who decides that they want to do it. Writing is not easy, but getting yourself to sit down and do it without any pressure is the first step. Writing will help you get a lot off your chest. I find that when I sit down to write, it helps me unload everything that has been in my head. It is necessary to write so that you get a break from what is going on around you. Whether you write in a journal or write a screenplay, do it. Writing will only help you.
how to be confident about your writing
I’m not going to lie it can take quite some time to be confident in your writing and even in sharing your work! The best way to be confident in showing your work starts with what you write. Write things you are comfortable writing and talking about. Make sure you do your research on what you are writing so that when you do share it, you’ll know what to say. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me, it helps.
Last but not least, just be yourself and reflect that through your writing. Your work should reflect you, and that will make you more confident in what you are.
writing for your career
When it comes to writing for your career, for me it has always been about being confident in your art. Sometimes we might feel like the great idea that we have is not the greatest, and that makes us want to give up. I say do not give us until you have exhausted all options. We need to trust ourselves more when it comes to being proud of our work. Work until you have completed your work. It might take time, but you will get there.
Check out our podcast about how to make your writing stand out!
Back in December I wrote my first feature film called Evade. It’s a thriller and horror film with a feminist/queer plot line that’s full of twists and turns. Think Get Out but gay. I got it officially copyrighted by the U.S. copyright office. My next process is to be able to pitch it to some production companies when I go to LA for LA quarter for my school. I want to get this script optioned because right now I am not capable of making it happen with a low student budget. It requires a large cast, party scenes, and multiple locations. I wrote Evade in 2 weeks (seriously). I wanted to write this blog to show that you can too write a feature in 2 weeks.
Now before you begin, this requires determination, no distractions, and at least three hours of writing per day. I know what you’re thinking I don’t have the time…I have a girlfriend…I have kids…I work a 9-5. No excuses. It’s all about balancing everything. To help, you should break the three hours into an hour and a half of writing in the morning and an hour and a half of writing in the afternoon or at night. Here are the steps I advise you to follow.
Before you can even type one word, you need to come up with an idea. Grab your laptop or pen and paper (what I prefer) and ask yourself these questions.
2. Character Exploration
3. Outline your entire film
Now it’s time to open up Final Draft or Celtx or whatever screenwriting software you prefer and WRITE. I’ve created some rules to follow when writing.
5. Pat yourself on the back!
Once you’ve finished your first draft treat yourself to a massage, expensive coffee, or sushi at that boujee restaurant.
6. The Re-Writing Stage
Writing is really about re-writing and always improving your characters, dialogue, plot points, and whatever else you feel like needs improving.
7. title it.
I like to do this last so I can see what themes were created and try to create a title based on that unless before you write you have a title you really love. You do you. To me, memorable titles are very hard to create.
8. have fun!
Experiment. Have workshops with friends that are screenwriters. Explore a theme that you’ve always been interested in. If you’re not having fun while you’re writing, then your audience won’t either so choose something else to write about.
I hope you found this article helpful, if you did, please share!
Comment below your own writing tips and tricks.
Dreams are never too late to make happen!
Bridget Johnson is the president and co-founder of Dare to Dream Productions. She writes and directs thought-provoking films that inspire others to follow their dreams.
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