"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed," Hemingway once said. Can relate. But why do we still do this? I don't know, I guess we just like to tell stories. Is there a magic pill? An instruction? A step-by-step tutorial on how to make your writing less painful? It seems not. But, sooner or later, you slowly learn to live with it. That's the simple answer.
Alrighty, let’s take it seriously. Today we’ll show you how to write. I mean, physically. How to get this business done with Story Architect by your side. How to focus on the process of writing in the 10 percent of the time we’re distracted from social media. Welcome, top-10 writing tips. An ultimate guide by STARC team.
This is a muscle that must be developed. If there is no discipline, there will be no result. Trivial, but true. Just give yourself (or someone else) a promise to write every day. Yeah, that stuff is HARD. But do it wisely – write early in the morning (before anything distracts you) or late in the evening (after anything distractive falls asleep). Check your most productive writing cycles in the STARC statistics module. And also try a timer for writing sprints! You can activate it in the app for 25 min with short breaks for 5-10 min ("Pomodoro" method) or choose your own timing.
This is one of the most important things in our job. One of your hemispheres is responsible for creativity, the other is constantly criticizing your own work. A screenwriter's job isn't to write, it's to rewrite. If you're stuck in one place every time, you just don't get ahead. But when you turn your brain off, a miracle usually happens, and the solution either comes later on its own or becomes irrelevant. Try, without distractions, to finish your draft by turning off your inner critic, and you'll see how that makes the whole process easier.
That's a law. It's always awful, just get over it. Call it a "zero draft" if it’ll make you get rid of it easier. The first draft you finish is just a half-way to the real first draft. Keep all of them in the STARC project – create multiple drafts to develop several variants of the story simultaneously.
It’s a simple rule, but so easy to break. Remember how many times you have cursed yourself after saying, "well that's for sure I won't forget," – and forgot. Use a voice recorder, any piece of paper at hand, and, surely, STARC notes to keep your ideas safe and sound.
It's about the fact that statistically not every project you do will succeed. Don't don't cry, don't think you're a genius who hasn't been understood. The thing is, those ideas will help you further and become part of some new story. The time you spend convincing producers to believe in your project can be successfully spent on a new one. Tough, but fair.
Also, don't be afraid to throw away some parts from the script. This applies to text, jokes, scenes, reprises, characters, entire episodes, and even locations. Anything that needs to be cut, but you really don't want to - you have to cut. Of course, if it works for the story.
And that doesn't mean you should only write what you ALREADY know about. It's about research. Research is everything. You want to save time - study the topic thoroughly, talk to people, study their professions. That's the only way. All the additional materials, including notes, interviews, photos and maps can be stored within one project in STARC so that you don’t miss any detail.
It motivates and solidifies the writer-producer relationship.
Everyone has heard the expression "Steal like an artist". Filmmaking is 90% references. Everyone is inspired by each other or doing homages to their idol-teachers. And that's absolutely cool. But making a stupid copy is not cool at all. Anyway, The Simpsons already did it.
Don't write only at home or in the office. Sit in a cafe, a co-working space, a teahouse, a summer house. Don't know why, but it works. STARC will be of much use here – TEAM version synchronizes the project across all your devices, so you can easily work from your office computer one day, and your laptop the other.
Brain is a muscle. If you stop training, your state gets worse. Of course there has to be a rest, too. But then you have to switch off as much as possible so you can recover. Brain works pretty funny: you put some info into it, and it processes it and suddenly gives you a ready answer in the middle of the night. But only if it's trained for it. So generate ideas all the time. A great solution to break writer’s block can be STARC AI – just come up with a topic and our AI tool will give you its version of the script. It can switch on your own creative process because to start from a not-blank page is always easier.
All in all, inspect your writing style and figure out what of these (or other) life hacks work for you. Story Architect team is trying to make the app convenient for any type of writer, that’s why all the tools can be customized to meet your needs. It’s time to start writing – the rest will follow.