That’s the two words most screenwriters love to see and say out loud. Why you may ask? Basically it means that all your hard work toiling in front of the computer and pounding away on that keyboard has finally come to an end. The story that had been pining away inside of you finally came out…every character, every dialogue, every scene, every nuance that was worked out in your mind’s eye is now all within your computer.
You lean back in your chair, prop your feet on the desk, stretch your arms and take pride in your creation. Your “baby” has finally come to life. You think it’s a work of art, a complete perfection, the “best damn story” that was written in all of history.
Your mind drifts off to what might be as a result of completing this “amazing script.” Delusions of grandeur pop into your head, and rightfully so. It’s good to think that. It gives us a sense of self-confidence…realists see this as false hope. But who cares! You created something from nothing and that’s no easy task.
Once everything settles, reality sets in and you soon realize that this is just the beginning. The real work comes into play. You’re going to have to do a ton of rewrites…WHAT?! But you thought it was perfect, how can you improve on a masterpiece?! This is your “baby” we’re talking about.
Sad to say what you thought was impeccable, now has a bunch of flaws. Parts of the story doesn’t flow well, terrible dialogue, nondescript scenes and useless characters are the defects that stings the very fiber of your core. What you once thought was great, has now been reduced to ashes; remnants a novice’s attempt lay at your feet.
You start to question your credentials as a writer and think how can this possibly be fixed. Doubt creeps in; stress and anxiety soon take over and all your creative juices are all out of whack. You’ve just made the possible something completely insurmountable.
Don’t really know if other writers go through this, but I’ve experienced this numerous times. At the moment I’m about to throw in the towel, an epiphany of why I write hits me like a lightning bolt. I take a deep breath (actually several), grit my teeth and press on.
My love of writing will outweigh any type of insecurities that I have. I look at it as if I’m polishing a diamond in the rough; my story has the potential, I just need to add a few key elements to bring out and display that passion that I had while writing it.
After completing my first rewrite, I’ll take a break and then come back to it to do a second and a third rewrite. For me, anything after three is overkill. Once my script’s done, I lean back in my chair, prop my feet on the desk, let loose a gratifying smile and bask in the satisfaction that I was able to endure the true writer’s journey…FADE OUT.