If you're not familiar with Camp NaNoWriMo, you can check out this blog post where I go into more detail. In essence, it's a month where writers worldwide dedicate themselves to a particular project of their choosing. But personally, I like to think of it as a giant pause button. NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo have become my sole excuse to put down my novel with its seemingly endless revisions and pause for a month to focus on something new. Somehow doing so under the established framework of NaNoWriMo is easier for me than simply picking a random month of my own choosing, which I know I would never do if left to my own devices.
What is a spec script, you ask?
A spec script is a sample episode of a TV series, either an original pilot episode of a show you've created or an original episode of an existing show. Writers typically write them to either sell or to secure representation. Aspiring television writers are generally encouraged to write a spec of an existing popular show to prove they are able to take on someone else's ideas, tone, themes, characters, etc. The spec script will show that you have what it takes to step right into a show and write it as authentically as if it were an actual episode.
As a major TV and film buff, screenwriting is something I've always wanted to do but instead let it slip to the back burner as I pursued novel writing. Despite an exhilarating screenwriting class in college, doubt continued to derail me. Thoughts like, screenwriting doesn't make sense unless I live in California or the odds of making it as a novelist are far higher than making it in film or television. At the start of 2020, I decided no more excuses. This year I would finally write that script with the faith that my writing career will flow in the direction it is supposed to.
WEEKS THREE AND FOUR: Pump out a quick rough draft.
WEEK FIVE: Read through and edit.
- Inside the Room by Linda Venis
- Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade by William Froug
- Elements of Style for Screenwriters by Paul Argentini
- Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
If you've ever considered screenwriting but haven't taken the leap, I hope to have inspired you in even the slightest way. It's never too late to pursue a passion project or learn a new skill. If writing brings us joy, then as far as I'm concerned, we owe it to ourselves to explore our creative instincts no matter their outcome.