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An Approach To Spec Writing

We all have our different approaches to spec writing: some believe “slow and steady wins the race” and write and rewrite over a large period of time; others “binge” on writing and editing, writing non-stop for a short period of time and then cogitating in-between bursts of activity. I wrote the following for a laugh on my Twitter account yesterday and by popular demand, am reproducing it here. Enjoy!

1) Tell everyone you’re writing a new spec.

2) Don’t do anything.

3) Write a pitch doc

4) Send it to friends, some producers, etc

5) Don’t do anything

6) Wait ’til someone asks to see the script; say “No problem”

7) Panic

8) Tell said person you’re currently on holiday, you’ll send it when you get back in two weeks

9) Write new spec by pulling twenty hour days

10) Pull in script reading favours

11) Collate feedback, write and rewrite in second week

12) Send the following Monday

See anything you recognise there?! ; ) Follow me on Twitter

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5 thoughts on “An Approach To Spec Writing”

  1. I did exactly that with Red Planet. Put in the first 10, did nothing else, got the call for the final 50, wrote the lot in three days flat.

    After which I swore that (a) I'd be honest as to whether a script existed or not, and (b) I'd keep writing, even if only five mins a day.

  2. Being serious… Obviously contests like Red Planet have a deadline, but writers DO seem to think they can't tell people who've asked for the script they're not ready yet and I find this really odd. Where is the harm in saying to a producer, "Glad you liked the pitch doc and the idea, I'm happy to meet up and discuss further, but the script is still in development"? They're not going to think less of you (in my experience) and may even chat to you about it, whereas they might if you send them a half-arsed, rushed script that COULD be so much better.

  3. Absolutely, and although I don't know for sure that was why I didn't make the cut into the final 20 for Red Planet, I do know for a fact that my first 10 were head and shoulders about the final 50.

    I'm re-writing it at the moment, and there are some very bad mistakes. I was just too rushed to see them.

    Honesty has got to be the best policy. First and foremost, being honest with ourselves.

  4. Well, that and not procrastinating our lives away and actually doing some writing every so often so that we don't get ourselves into these situations… 🙂

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