Write Bad To Write Good: Advice on Getting Started

by | Aug 18, 2022

We all know how terrifying that first blank page can be. Whether it’s in Final Draft, Highland 2, Fade In, or even Word, when you find yourself staring at all that white space, it can feel impossible to get going. Fortunately, our very own Linda Voorhees has a few frank words that can help get you off and running. 

ONE: Start by starting. Put that first word on the page and begin your script. I love those two words, FADE IN, because it takes the pressure off of how to start. So if you need a little helper, type in those two wonderful words in capital letters in the top left margin of the first page: FADE IN.

TWO: Promise yourself it’s going to be a bad draft. Allow yourself the crappiest, poopiest, messiest first draft in history. Take the words of Hemingway to heart, “the first draft of anything is shit.” You’ll find your story as you work through the mire. You’ll also learn to trust the process of the rewrite. You’ve heard it before, writing is rewriting. Believe it.

THREE: Unclench. Unpucker everything. Let it rip and let it flow.

FOUR: Praise your fellow writers and admire their good work even if yours is imperfect. Set aside cynicism, competitiveness, and pettiness. Love good writing, especially when yours isn’t quite there yet. It’ll allow you to trust your own writing when it rises to that level of professionalism and greatness.

FIVE: Be as patient with yourself as you are with others.

So there you go; patience, perseverance, grace, the ability to unpucker and write the worst piece of writing the world has ever seen are great ways to get started. And the truth is, with every word you put on the page, your story gets deeper, your voice gets stronger, and you get better. So, don’t give up! This is a hard pursuit you’ve been called to, but if you just get started and fill that page with terrible words, you’ll be that much farther on your writing journey. 

We believe in you! 

Write on!  

ProPath Screenwriting