IWSG — When the Going Gets Tough…

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here

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June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end?

When the going gets tough, the tough switch things up. If I get bogged down in a scene, I have a few go-to strategies to get things moving again. Sometimes, a short break is all that’s needed to give a fresh perspective — taking a long walk or a hike or watching a movie. Doing something different allows the brain to reset. Other times, I brainstorm, playing the ‘what if’ game to see what comes to mind. I get some of my best ideas that way. Another way I get my brain back in gear is to go to a spot earlier in the story and start reading from there. By the time I get to where I was stuck, the story just flows on through as the characters take over once more.

When all else fails, I jot down actions and dialogue that I know belong in the scene and work through it in phrases and incomplete sentences until I figure out exactly what’s going on with the characters. If things aren’t working, it usually means I’m trying to force the story to go in the wrong direction. Eventually, if I keep at it, the right direction presents itself and the story goes on its way again. The key is to not give up or get discouraged. Perseverance pays off.

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Has anyone else ever dreamed about seeing their story up on the big screen? I’m sure the answer is Yes! I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a screenplay for my first book, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. I bought Final Draft 12, the industry standard software and have been dabbling with it. I found it really easy to use and was able to bang out a scene in a short time. I also read two screenwriting books, Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder and Story by Robert McKee, which have been incredibly helpful. Then I discovered the Internet Movie Script Database. It has the actual scripts from so many movies, including Lord of the Rings. What a resource! I’ve been skimming though scripts to get a better feel for how they should be put together. It’s all quite fascinating.

Has anyone else out there tried writing their own screenplays? What software and resources did you use? Did you find it easier or harder than writing a novel? Big screen, here we come!

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2022. All rights reserved.

24 thoughts on “IWSG — When the Going Gets Tough…

  1. Great advice for getting back in the writing grove. You GO on attempting a screen play. I was approached to write one for a group of area filmmakers who had a script they wanted doctored and made into a novelization. A horror movie! What fun. I actually had a role in it as Bar Extra! All creative avenues tie together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally try writing a screen play! After reading Save the Cat! I can totally pick out points in the movie and announce them. I’ve even told my husband about them and he’ll occasionally look at me and say “Whiff of Death?” when we’re watching a movie. For myself, I don’t think I could handle a live-action version of my stories because of the funky hair/skin colors. But I would like a graphic novel one of these days…

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  3. I have tried a screenplay, not in the UK, where I live, but in Ireland. RTE were considering production. It didn’t happen, but maybe I should try again ? Thanks for the software title –
    and enjoy your next hike.

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  4. My brother worked on a tv series called Blackstone. I suggested he leave my novel Matowak lying about then yell across the set, “Where’s my sister’s best selling novel? Anybody seen it?” lol He was too embarrassed. LOL. Great minds think alike, Lori.

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  5. Thank you for your thoughtful comments here. I took notes on how to keep writing! My friend is playing around with writing a screenplay, so I sent your resources to her as well. And, thank you for visiting my IWSG post this month. June has been very difficult with the death of a close friend, but I will keep writing, again thanks to encouraging words.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sorry for the late reply. I agree that switching things up can make all the difference. I took a screenwriting class and enjoyed it but it’s not a format that comes naturally to me.

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  7. Great summary, Lori! I often go to TheScriptLab.com for free scripts, especially TV shows and films that help me understand the devices and concepts used by the top screenwriters . When possible, I search the internet for the screenwriter (e.g., Chris Lang and the Unforgotten series available on Amazon Prime) and see what they say on their websites and in interviews. Tremendous resources and all free!

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