"When you start writing you're 98% pure writer and 2% critic. After you've written for a length of time, you've learned a great deal about your craft, and you've become 2% pure writer and 98% critic. It's like writing uphill." (David Westheimer, American Novelist)
"Screenwriting is like writing in the sand with the wind blowing." (Frances Marion, American Journalist)
Facing a blinking cursor, and a blank screen and battling with tons of ideas in the mind, is one of the difficult and unappreciated jobs in movies. Even a A-list writer doesn't share a big-money in the profit of a film. Critics always say ,"You cannot make a good movie with anything less than a great script." Movies sometimes gets away with marginal scripts because they have the big stars that will draw an audience regardless. But every independent film-maker can't take that risk.
It's believed that more than 100,000 original screenplays are written each year. Approximately 7,000 of them have a chance to be made into movies. But only about 200 movies get a fair shot at a broad theatrical showing. One of the screen writing tips in Google search says, 'You need to tell a fascinating story, with interesting characters and great dialog. Take the time to get your screenplay right and everything else will fall into line.' What it didn't say was 'how much time?', because channeling your great ideas to a fine script within a time line is the hardest part.
In 1950's screenwriters didn't enjoy any kind of privilege for their writing. Screenwriters increasingly worked on a freelance or project-by-project basis in those times. Nowadays, screenwriters often have a say in the project from script through production, collaborating closely with actors and directors to foster their ideas through to finished film. There are many screen writing books available now. But, Syd Field is one of the pioneers, whose script writing are taught throughout the film schools.
Syd Field is one of the most popular screenwriting gurus. When he started screenwriting, there were no books or any articles about it. He taught Screenwriting at USC Film school during the 1980s. Field's most important contribution has been his articulation of the ideal Paradigm called "three acts": 'Plot, Character, and Structure.' He says there are only three types of problems – problems of plot, problems of character and problems of structure. To locate the problem, Field suggests the writing of three essays entitled “What was it that originally attracted me to the screenplay?”, “What kind of story did I end up writing?” and “What have I to do to change what I did into what I wanted to do?”
Today Amazon lists more than 1,200 books on screenwriting, six of which are works by Syd Field.
Another difficult part of movie scripts is rewriting. Unlike the other artists who work on films — and in most other art forms — it is common and even a formality to replace a screenwriter on a studio project, for the purpose of rewriting. On a big-budget film, it is not uncommon for six or more writers to have worked on the screenplay, including the director and a friend of the star who is brought in just to work on his character’s dialogue.
John Logan , the writer for movies like Last Samurai, Gladiator says, he has done 26 drafts of rewriting for the movie Any Given Sunday, one after another in a span of 9 months.
So, is it a difficult thing to write, a story or anything?
If you’ve recently admitted to yourself that you’re talentless, that writing is hopeless, that you will never succeed, that your script (novel, idea) is stupid, and that this time you’re quitting and you mean it, then congrats. Just don’t quit because you think you’re failing. Because, a winner in any kind of profession, never quits.