Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Treatment: day two

I confess I've never written a treatment before. I've written plenty of synopses, but those are written after the script is finished so all I have to do is tell the story I already wrote. This time I have to do in paragraph form what I normally do while I'm composing the script. Did you know that paragraphs take up less space than screenplay pages? Totally true.

Since what normally takes a page is taking a paragraph, it's difficult to feel like I'm accomplishing anything. It's been a very very long time since I wrote a story in paragraph form and I'm kind of all over the place in figuring out my style. Sometimes I use a colon to introduce dialogue, sometimes standard quotation format, sometimes no quotes at all. I'm hoping that eventually I'll ease into something that fits me.

It's difficult to resist the urge to make every paragraph one sentence long. And I'm starting to see why so many treatments end up so long - it's difficult to leave out most of the dialogue and details when you're used to describing everything that happens on screen. I got one example of a treatment the other day that was 157 pages long. I thought that was nuts, but I can actually see how that can happen. It won't happen to me, but I can see it happening to someone less lazy.

In two days I've inched my way to two pages. At this rate it's going to take me three weeks to write this thing, which is why they pay you so much, I guess. It seems like it should be easy: just write your story in paragraph form, but I'm finding it a much greater challenge than I expected. I like my story and this process is definitely helping me develop it, but it's moving at a very slow pace. I have to keep stopping to think. Thinking sucks. I just want to punch people and get the girl already. Unfortunately the punching people was one paragraph and now I have to spend another paragraph doing boring stuff like character development. My goal for tomorrow is to get to the end of page 3.

Oh wait hold up. I just realized I've been typing in 11 point font. Score. I just got another half a page by switching it to 12. Well I call that a victory for the day.


  1. Anonymous12:21 PM

    Slightly increase the right/left/top/bottom margins and I bet you could score at least another quarter page :)

  2. Bump it up to 13... they'll never know!


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