You know how life can get you down, then it tries to kick your teeth in? That’s what I’m experiencing. How am I coping? This is me right now.
But let’s not fully give in to the urge to watch everything burn. I still have to concentrate on writing. Therefore, I’ve concocted a writing plan. One that should get me to the Austin Film Festival with something to show for myself besides a 100% completion of Borderlands 2 with all six characters.
Over the next 13 weeks I need to make significant progress 1) rewriting my pilot, 2) starting my feature, 3) scripting some comic book shorts, 4) plotting a new spec and 5) starting a new pilot. Here’s that plan.
Week One (July 27 – August 2)
New Pilot: Brainstorm Concepts – Although I still haven’t finished my previous pilot, it’s time to start thinking about a new pilot. As per my M.O., I’ll come up with three ideas and test them on friends.
Spec: Watch Turn Season 1 – And despite any results for my script of The 100, I have to start thinking about a new show to spec. That’s why I’ll watch at least 3 episodes of a show each week this summer. This week I’ll check out AMC’s show about revolutionary war spies.
Week Two (August 3-9)
Feature: Revisit Premise – I took a UCLA feature writing class last quarter and wrote a 3-page outline and scripted the first act. I’ll revisit my idea. Why go so far back? It’s missing a fresh component. I don’t love it and this is too much work to produce something I don’t love.
Short Comic: Script Issue #1 – I have to finish a short script for a 4-8 page comic. And I need to contact that illustrator I met at San Diego Comic-Con.
Spec: Watch Halt & Catch Fire Season 1- I know next to nothing about this show (which is very exciting).
Week Three (August 10-16)
Pilot: Story/Structure Pass – At the start of the year I wrote a pilot in a UCLA Extension class. I loved the class (and I adore my classmates) but my pilot was very rough. I need to go back and methodically rebuild and reinforce the script. This week I concentrate on the story/structure. Without a sound structure I cannot build a masterpiece.
New Pilot: Characters – Who are my principal players?
Spec: Watch Jane The Virgin Season 1 – This might be my “out of left field” spec idea.
Week Four (August 17-23)
Feature: Act One Outline – If the beginning isn’t rock solid it’s all a waste of time.
Short Comic: Script Issue #2 – I hope to send off my second script to that second illustrator I met at SDCC.
Spec: Watch Banshee Season 1 – I know nothing about this show… except that they just cancelled it. I should pick a different show for this week.
Week Five (August 24-30)
Pilot: Activity Pass – No idea what Pilar is referring to here but maybe it’s to remove “sit n’ talk” scenes.
New Pilot: Conflicts – Time to pit everyone against each other.
Spec: Watch iZombie Season 1 – Feeling confident I’ll spec this. It just checks off so many of the right boxes.
Week Six (August 31-September 6)
Feature: Act Two-A Outline – Gotta keep digging holes for my protagonist, put them up a tree, throw stones and all that.
Short Comic: Script Issue #3 – Wrap up my third story (and find more illustrators).
Spec: Watch Agent Carter Season 1 – An odds on favorite to spec after last week’s pick.
Week Seven (September 7-13)
Pilot: Character Pass – Every character has to stand out or get out.
New Pilot: Break Stories – Time to brainstorm potential plots.
Spec: Watch Gotham Season 1 – Can I find a story I’d like to tell before throwing in a new baddie? Maybe I can do something about baby Bane.
Week Eight (September 14-20)
Feature: Act Two-B Outline – If “all hope is lost” then this outline will be cooking!
Short Comic: Script Issue #4 – Put that fourth script to bed.
Spec: Watch The Flash Season 1 – I am VERY confident WB will have this on their approved spec list next year.
Week Nine (September 21-27)
Pilot: Tone/Format Pass – Consistency is the word of the week.
New Pilot: A-B-C Storylines – Before I can weave the stories I need to select the proper threads.
Spec: Watch Orphan Black Season 3 – Was it as bad as I remember?
Week Ten (September 28-October 4)
Feature: Act Three Outline – With this newly completed outline I should be ready to jump back into scripting this beast.
Short Comic: Script Issue #5 – Rockin’ n’ rollin’ on my fifth script.
Spec: Wildcard – A last chance to consider any shows for a future spec.
Week Eleven (October 5-11)
Pilot: Dialog Pass – Freshen up the patter.
New Pilot: Note Cards – Scenes and sequences on notes cards, note cards on the wall.
Spec: Sift Through Ideas – Ruminate on my next spec. Will review note cards with episode ideas.
Week Twelve (October 12-18)
Short Comic: Script Issue #6 – My sixth script done! Would also love, love, LOVE to have at least one of these posted online by this week.
Spec: Narrow Down Possibilities – No more than three potentials by this week.
Week Thirteen (October 19-25)
Pilot: Clean Up Script – When I’m at Austin and someone asks, “hey, can I read your pilot?” I want to whip out my phone and reply, “what email should I send it to?” F**k yeah!
New Pilot: Elevator Pitch – I need one sentence that gets them hooked.
Week Fourteen (October 26-November 1)
Austin – I should be ready. I better be ready. Am I ready?
And that’s my plan. Fool proof? No. Overly ambitious? Yes. Now all I gotta do is…