I’ll take “Potpourri” for $300, Alex

All this AND he plays hockey
All this AND he plays hockey

-I’ve been burning through my stash of unplayed podcasts at a rapid pace (including Scriptnotes), so I’m looking to add maybe one or two more to my library. Any suggestions?

-Since my current project has a 40s/50s noir vibe to it, playing era-appropriate music on Pandora really helps capture the mood (dig that crazy sax, man).  I may even don my fedora while I write to complete the transition.  If I enjoyed scotch or bourbon, there’d definitely be a glass of it on the desk. Guess a stiff cup o’ joe will have to do.

-My original intent with the rewrite was to completely start over, but the more I read the previous draft, the more potential I see. For now, it’s all about figuring the best way to combine ideas and elements from both.

-If there’s a writer whose work you really like, find out if they have a website, blog or on Twitter and send a friendly note telling them exactly that. Everybody likes a little compliment now and then.

-Could somebody please tell Netflix to get their act together and put Season 3 of THE WALKING DEAD and Season 7 of DOCTOR WHO on streaming? Haven’t we waited long enough? This might be my chance to finally start watching BSG, BREAKING BAD or MAD MEN.

-Definitive sign autumn is here – pumpkin pop-tarts (or toaster pastries, if you want to avoid the copyright infringement) at Trader Joe’s. They’re…okay. Maybe I’ll just make more pumpkin bread instead.

-Hope your latest project is going swimmingly. Enjoy the weekend, and try to write something.

Simple now, fancy-schmancy later

What? This isn't what you wear when you're writing?
What? This isn’t what you wear when you’re writing?

Right now, it’s all about finishing the first draft of this spec. Just get it done. Hopefully this momentous event will occur sometime in the next couple of days.

The script as a whole will of course need a lot of tweaking and reworking – it’s foolish to think otherwise – but it’s also important to get the words on the page to paint a strong mental picture. The more picturesque your text, the more vivid it becomes inside the reader’s mind.

Despite using the “write it now, fix it later” approach, I try to work with a wide variety of words, descriptions and phrases throughout to keep things interesting.  Remember – the thesaurus is your friend. Use it wisely.

Changes will be made where necessary in forthcoming drafts. It’s more than likely a word or sentence will be modified several times, then changed back to what it originally was. This happens all the time.

As this draft was put together, the words that met my needs at the time were used. Are there ones that work better, or at least do a better job of conveying the intended mood?  Without a doubt, but rather than spend too much time now to come up with the perfect word or phrase, I’m more interested in maintaining that nice, steady momentum.  There’ll be time to spruce it up later.

You can have great language in your wide margins or dialogue, but it all boils down to this: if the story’s not rock-solid, the whole thing will fall apart.

I was especially reminded about this listening to a recent episode of Scriptnotes. One of the entries in the Three Page Challenge featured the colorful phrase describing a room:  “A dragon’s lair of treasures.” Nice, huh?

I don’t know if the writers had that in there from Day One, but it’s definitely not something I would have come up with the first time around. It’s not hard to imagine this is the result of a little brainstorming. It’s short, descriptive and effective.

Don’t worry about getting it all perfect when you start. That’s what rewrites are for.