I’ve finished reading The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: I got a lot out of it. I’d love to see such a book on highly successful novelists, but in spite of the differences between novelists and screenwriters, there is a lot to be learned here.

I love this quote on procrastinating:

“I know when I’m about to write when I become a neat freak and start rearranging the pens and pencils around … ” [Steven DeSouza, page 95]

There was quite a bit on outlining before writing, which supports the process I’m using now.

“I try to build the story as cleanly as I can, make sure the structure works, then I write it really badly, as fast as I can … ” [Akiva Goldsman, page 107]

This same scriptwriter also had this to say:

“Unfortunately, people believe that their first thing should be great. Writing is like anything else. You’re not supposed to write a page and expect it to be good. You have to write a thousand bad pages to get to that one good page.” [Akiva Goldsman, page 123]

I feel that with the first two (unpublished) novels I wrote I didn’t understand that one, two or even three drafts were not enough. Often, beginning writers don’t give themselves enough time.

“The reality is that in order to be good at it, it will probably take you as long as any other profession to master the craft.” [Michael Schiffer, page 125]

More tomorrow …