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David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Tomorrow is a special day.

Tomorrow my writing partner and I complete the outline of our next story. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But it is.

I hate outlines. When I broke through my writer’s block of 15 years it was because I abandoned trying to outline. I wrote straight through without a plan. I wrote a script a month, writing about an hour each morning and completed 10 scripts in one year.

But none of them were moving to a second draft. They were a mess and my mind couldn’t organize them.

That’s when I brought in my writing partner. She and I hammered through one of our favourites and sent it out two weeks ago.

When the time came for the new one, I wanted to use Save the Cat by Blake Snyder to make sure we were always on the same page.

We worked in 3 hour sessions that were broken down like this:

  1. We started from a general idea that popped into my head and used to pitch it my partner. We spent the first session brainstorming about it.
  2. We did the 15 point beat sheet on pg. 70 of the book.
  3. We filled in Act 1 of the board.
  4. Act 2A of the board.
  5. We did another brainstorming session to figure out what was going to happen next.
  6. Act 2B of the board.
  7. Tomorrow, we will complete Act 3.

After that is complete, we begin writing the first draft of the script. I expect each 3 hour session to accomplish roughly 10 pages, so I expect it will take 11 sessions for a 110 minute script.

Add those numbers up. That is 18 sessions at 3 hours each. 54 hours in total.

I used to take 30 hours to write a messy screenplay and now it will take me 54 hours to have an organized one.

Those are numbers I like.


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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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