I Wrote A Screenplay In 48 Hours

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I wrote a screenplay in 48 hours I

started with absolutely no idea what I

was going to do and went all the way to

a full draft and in this video I'm gonna

show you everything I'm gonna show you

my initial ideas my outlines the

problems I faced and even the full

script you'll get to see it all let's

begin I know we couldn't just sit down

open up final draft and start typing

that would end in disaster I needed a

plan I split my process into three

phases finding an idea outlining and

writing I felt that finding an idea and

outlining would likely be the more

important parts but actually writing the

script would take the most time my plan

was to spend the first few hours finding

an idea then moving to the outline I

likely needed a detailed outline the

more detailed the outline the easier it

would be to keep moving through the

pages of the script once I finished the

outline I would spend the rest of my

time writing the script I needed to

choose a concept that would work with my

time constraint I couldn't write

anything that required a ton of research

this meant no historical fiction nothing

based on a true story and preferably in

a setting I could create from scratch I

figured something simple and focused was

the way to go my first idea was to write

some sort of contained thriller I've

written thrillers in the past so I had a

pretty good idea of what to expect

writing a contained thriller would mean

that the script could revolve around a

few central characters in one general

location I wouldn't have to constantly

be thinking about new settings this

would be helpful constantly stopping to

add new characters and settings would

likely make finishing the script

impossible given the time constraint

next I listed out a few different ideas

for the setting whatever came to mind I

wrote down after a couple minutes of

letting my mind run here's what I had

from this little list I was interested

mainly in writing something on an island

or maybe in space I decided to go with

space and continue to brainstorm my

first thought was an ensemble of

characters who find a monster loose on a

spaceship but I immediately thought of

alien and wanted to do something

different I also decided I wanted to

stay away from a monster based thriller

while these can be great stories it just

wasn't as interesting to me a human

versus human story sounded more

compelling also instead of a spaceship I

decided the story should take place on

the moon at some sort of moon base

here's a picture of my initial

brainstorms please ignore my doodling it

helps me think as you can see I went

from thriller all the way down to a

sci-fi thriller that takes place on the

moon at this point I added in a science

vs. military element I thought maybe

some sort of struggle could occur

between the scientist and the military

personnel who were packed together on

this moon base I also jotted down some

notes at the bottom about how the

characters might change over the course

of the story at this point I had my

ideas my story was going to be a sci-fi

thriller that took place on a futuristic

moon base I started thinking about why

the space would exist what would the

scientists be researching how would it

be valuable maybe something was found

under the moon's surface I thought like

some sort of lunar bacteria and maybe it

had major healing properties and medical

applications back on earth then I

started thinking about where the

conflict could start maybe different

nations all work together at the space

maybe one of the nations tries to take

the harvested bacteria for themselves or

for their country this gave me some

loose ideas for the initial setup and

structure of the story


at this point I felt like it was time to

head to the whiteboard and brainstorm

some of the structural beats of the

story if you've been following this

channel you may have heard me talking

about Dan Harmon's story circle I found

that it's been very helpful in building

the initial building blocks and momentum

of my stories

Harmons story circle is a fantastic tool

to help break down the initial idea of

your story and give it some hooks to

hang ideas on in a way that fits in a

dramatic narrative using this I could

create a rough idea of where the story

would go and what kind of turning points

would make it dramatically compelling if

you want to know more about Dan Harmon's

story circle I'll link to it in the

description my main character would be

one of the scientists working at the

base he or she would be working hard to

make a major discovery at this point I

wasn't sure what the discovery would be

they would then enter an unfamiliar

situation when more military personnel

were inexplicably brought to the base I

used numbers five and six on the story

circle to give the story a strong

midpoint the main character would find

what they were looking for but this

would result in a major catastrophe so a

major discovery would be made at the

midpoint followed by the antagonist

taking control of the moon base this

would set up the second half of the

story where the main character would

have to find a way to regain control so

what I'm making here is super super

general I'm using terms like bad guys

and good guys I don't want the character

to be that simple but for this it helps

me to get an idea just to like throw

something down because for this a lot of

this is about throwing something down

getting a decent idea and then

perfecting that ideas

go once I had this general idea I used

the story circle to get some structure

to each section of the story act 1 act 2

part 1 act 2 part 2 and act 3 I focused

on what the main character would want in

each section and what they are trying to

get I also focused on what it costs to

get what they want

what reaction does the environment or

the antagonist have to the main

character as they go after what they

want here's what I wrote down in act 1

the scientist is focusing on making a

major discovery the unfamiliar situation

comes when a major breakthrough is made

as they get close to a major discovery

unexpected military personnel come to

the base act 2 part 1 mainly dealt with

the making of the major discovery in act

2 part 2 the main characters want

changes rather than trying to make a

major discovery they are trying to

regain control of the base I wanted the

first half of act 2 to propel us to the

midpoint and create a major obstacle for

the second half of the story act 3 was

simply about the main character

regaining control of the base and

defeating the story's antagonist all of

this was very vague but it helped me get

some ideas on how I might build out the

structure of this story for this project

I prefer to nail down some ideas on how

the story would evolve and change first

doing this would prevent me from writing

a story that was way too long or way too

short I didn't have the luxury of adding

or subtracting massive portions of the

story if I was going to finish the draft

in two days

okay so at this point I feel like I need

to work on my characters because I

haven't done them at all

so using this story circle that gives me

a very very rough outline of what my

story's going to look like now I need to

think more about my characters and they

think more about you know the details of



remember that I decided that multiple

nations would be sharing the space and

working together for a common goal which

was to make this major medical discovery

that would help people back on earth

my characters became an ensemble of

different scientists and soldiers from

different nations I gave the characters

different motivations and beliefs that

could conflict and change over the

course of the story

one thing that was especially helpful is

that for a few of the characters I gave

them a story arc through the events of

the story I could create change in the

beliefs of the characters which would

create a much more compelling story this

would give meaning to the major turning

points of the story they wouldn't just

create more obstacles for my characters

they would force the characters to

confront their own beliefs and ideas

about the world if you would like to

stop and read about some of the

characters I created you can pause the

video now so now I have some characters

some general ideas and what they're

going to be now I'm going to do some

backstory in some world building and

then I start writing this story

after writing out a general story

structure building out my characters and

doing a bit of world-building it was

finally time to write the outline I

needed to have an outline that worked

too much pausing to fix story problems

and this thing would never get done if I

could get an outline that worked in

theory it wouldn't take me too long to

get through the first draft I combined

my characters with the general story

structure I had made earlier and was

able to create an outline that

summarized the major events that would

occur in each section of the story just

like on the whiteboard I split the story

into the four major sections and focused

on writing out the major scenes and

turning points that would take place

while I didn't have a scene-by-scene

outline what I had focused on the major

turning points that would need to happen

as well as establishing and evolving the

different relationships between the

characters once I finished the outline I

was finally ready to write the first

draft now at this point rather than

sitting down and beginning to write the

first draft I went on a walk I'd like to

tell you that I did this to feel

inspired would it generate new ideas but

the reality is I was worried that this

was going to be bad I was worried I was

about to put out an absolute piece of

garbage to thousands of people who had

subscribed to my youtube channel I was

worried that I wouldn't even be able to

finish so I procrastinated

but luckily I had a deadline love him or

hate him deadlines force us to get

things done so after about a half hour

or so of procrastination I began the

first draft getting pages out can be

tough but the key is focus I didn't have

my phone on my desk I wasn't letting

anyone walk in and out of the room I

didn't check emails I didn't open

Twitter and I left Facebook alone

occasionally my camera stopped recording

but I wouldn't get up to restart them

it wasn't about forcing myself to focus

as much as it was not making

distractions easily accessible when you

can find that groove and actually get

yourself to focus and you don't allow

yourself to be distracted you'd be

surprised at how much you can write

after writing for a while I took a break

got a coffee thank you came back and

went right back to writing I continued

pushing through pages I took another

break grab some dinner yes thank you and

came right back these occasional

intentional breaks allowed my mind to

breathe for a minute my subconscious was

given the chance to get ahead of me in

the story while I was grabbing coffee or

eating dinner my mind was given the time

to get a few pages in front of me


it was 1:00 a.m. and I was exhausted I

had gone from having no idea to 35 pages

written of a first draft I was pretty

happy with what I'd done and I headed to


day two I got up and started writing

again I was feeling good and ready to

finish out this first draft all right

day two it's 9:02 a.m. I don't know if

you can hear to my voice but I woke up

feeling kind of sick today

but that's okay I'm feeling energized

and I'm gonna pound this out get it done

and I'll be great

but only a couple hours into writing I

got stuck I kept hitting roadblocks I

had the story beats I wanted to write

but the story wasn't flowing it was

nearing noon and I felt like I was

running out of time I decided to create

a scene-by-scene outline this would

allow me to flow between scenes more

easily while writing and hopefully

create less stopping and starting but

this didn't seem to help I kept getting

stuck every time I sat down to write I

saw everything that I hated in the story

I was barely getting pages out I was

completely self conscious and unable to

write anything without judging it I

honestly thought it was over I wasn't

going to be able to do it

I was only 40 pages in and I absolutely

hated it I questioned the entire story

and even this entire challenge of

writing the script in 48 hours

I kept rewriting the first act which I

knew I shouldn't be doing but I kept

doing it anyway I kept wanting this

first draft to be perfect

I was about to share it to thousands of

people on YouTube I felt like I had to

give you this perfect oscar-winning

screenplay then I remembered what the

purpose of this was it wasn't to write

the perfect screenplay it wasn't about

getting you all to think I'm some great

writer the purpose of this challenge was

to show you that it's possible to get

your first draft out onto the page if

you allow yourself the time to focus and

get it done I wanted to show you that

you didn't need years months or even

weeks to get that first draft out onto

the page and so I kept writing knowing I

was going to be showing you something

that wasn't my best work knowing there

were things I wasn't going to be proud

of but I continued because I want you to

keep pushing - I deleted some pages that

weren't working and kept pushing forward

this time I was going to push to the end

no more rewriting to get perfect pages I

was able to start really getting pages

out when I stopped worrying about every

single piece being good

I just focused on telling the story it's

not good to be super self-conscious

while you're writing that first draft

focus on telling the story focus on

writing a scene that feels like

something you'd want to see focus on who

your characters are the goal is to be so

immersed in the actual writing that you

don't have the time to constantly judge

every single line you write



it was late I was seventy three pages in

with a few hours left before I hit the

48-hour deadline I decided to grab a few

hours of sleep before I got up at 6 a.m.

to finish out the script


I had done it a full first draft in 48

hours there were a few points along the

way where I wasn't sure if I would get

it done but I forced myself to stick

with it and finish this is still a first

draft it's far from perfect and it

definitely needs rewriting but it's a

first draft I wrote in 48 hours

while battling a cold so I'll take it

now if I wanted to I could actually

rewrite not a scene here or there not a

single act a full screenplay you can

write that first draft in as little as a

few days when you get that story out it

gives you something to rewrite it gives

you something to fix as long as the

story stays in your head or in your

outline it's not real when you get it

out onto the page you can actually see

all of its holes and problems and then

you can face them head-on and find ways

to solve them speed through your first

draft then rewrite slowly it can be

difficult and you will get in your own

head about your writing but you just

have to push through and get that first

draft out onto the page you can't edit

something that isn't written you need to

know where the holes in your story are

and the best way to find them is to

finish your draft if you're interested

in improving your focus and want more

tools to help you get your first draft

out onto the page then I recommend

checking out the practical screenwriting

course this course is made up of online

videos packed with information that is

guaranteed to help you build long-term

focus and consistency so you can be

procrastination and writer's block and

get your story out on paper and once you

finish that first draft the course shows

you how to rewrite your draft so that

you can easily find and fix your story's

problems at 7 hours long

this course is more than double the

length of the average masterclass course

if you join the course comes with a

30-day money-back guarantee which is

100% for any reason at all I want to

make sure that every single member truly

feels that they're getting a ton of

you from the course so if you want to

check the course out go ahead and click

the link on screen now or below in the

description I've had more than a hundred

members join this course and get a ton

out of it and I'd love for you to do the

same either way I hope this video

inspired you to get your screenplay out

of your head and onto the page

I'll see you next time