I’ve just finished taking part in a small adventure called “write the first draft of a feature film in seven days.” Needless to say, I feel mentally exhausted. But I’m also filled with pride… I did it. I wrote a whole film in a week.
Weirdly enough, the last half of the week (the part where I was expecting myself to be completely fed up) was more enjoyable than the first. This was probably because I got to the “punish your protagonist in every way possible” pages and, I can’t lie, I do enjoy giving my characters hell. I try to be a nice person in real life, but I’m something of an evil writer. I find great satisfaction in making my characters suffer... yes, I have mental issues, why do you ask?
The first half of the week was a completely different story. I had no idea what to write or how to set everything up. I hadn’t even named all my characters beforehand. Instead, I was just going along like “Okay… you can be called Leah.” About 40 pages through, Leah became Paige.
To make matters worse, part of my keyboard stopped working. It made me appreciate how important the letter S is. I had to type my emails to my lecturers out using 5’s. One subject line was: “My keyboard i5 breaking and nothing make5 5en5e." The keys CONVENIENTLY fixed themselves during the last two days. Thanks, laptop, you’ve really made the editing process a whole lot easier...
“You’ll thank me at the end of the week when you’re finished!” said our lecturer. “It’ll make you feel like a real writer and you’ll have a first draft under your belt.”
Okay… so he wasn’t wrong.
Even though I’m still panicking over the hundreds of other things I need to do before graduation, it does feel good knowing that I have almost 100 pages of script done. And it was quite freeing knowing that, yes, everything you were writing was utter crap. But that was the point of it. First drafts are never good, you just need to not care and keep writing no matter what. It was also kinda nice to just sit in my pyjamas all day and write… I’ll never get an opportunity to do that again.
The week wasn’t quite as bad as I was expecting, and I’m proud of myself for powering through despite my laptop playing up and my brain feeling like it was turning to mush. I can definitely so that I’ve never been happier and felt more euphoria after writing the words:
FADE TO BLACK.