The Screenwriting Facts of Life - Really

I just read a blog post comparing scriptwriting to sex.

Yes, I know I often use sex in my posts, and am a strong supporter of cramming as much sex into your scripts as possible. But all I can say in response to the 'screenwriting is like sex' thing is, "Are they outta their friggin' mind?!?"

The only way screenwriting is in anyway sexual is if you get off on some badass sick pain kink. The kind that's illegal in most states.

Sure, I get the analogy. Sometimes you just have to lay back and put out even when all you wanna do is get in that extra ten minutes of sleep. And, hey, you might even find that you enjoy it. But come on, telling people that screenwriting is like sex is akin to sending an adolescent boy busting hormones faster than zits into a room full of willing nubile females without the condom talk. It may feel fantastic at the moment, but it rarely ends well.

Newbie writers all have love induced hard ons for their work. Even the females. So reaffirming the belief that writing is somehow a sexual experience, is like those half-truths we tell to kids, only screenwriters aren't as smart and will totally believe it.

Clearly it's time for me to set the record straight. So gather around, all you new little screenwriters, and I'll tell you all about the birds and the bees of screenwriting.

Hopefully you already know that there is no magical script stork that delivers your fully written baby to a cabbage patch. And you probably know - or at least suspect - that it does feel good. At least it starts out that way, but then, well... most people who haven't already had babies (and by babies I mean scripts) really don't want to even think about the rest of the details. But you need to.

This isn't for the faint of heart. It does it get ugly. But you need to hear it. It may save you, young wanna-be writer, from boatloads of unnecessary pain, and more importantly, it may just save the planet from yet one more ugly unwanted bastard script in an already grossly overpopulated world.

So lock your impressionable kids in the attic and pull your easily offended mother away from the monitor, 'cause here we go --


Writing a script is exactly like making a baby.

1 - Conception.

It starts out with an itch you just need to scratch, and scratching feels real nice. This leads to a massive orgasm. Hot. Heavy. Feels good. Addictive. And before you know it, your script is conceived. You might forget about it, but it's there. Growing. And soon you can't ignore the fact that you're totally knocked up with this great script idea and can't get away from this thing.


2 - 1st Trimester

Moodiness. Weird cravings. No desire to scratch any itch at all, but this thing won't go away. Self loathing for getting yourself into this mess in the first place. A dawning realization that life as you know it is totally fucked, balanced by awe at actually creating something. Desire to vomit at random intervals.

3 - 2nd Trimester

You wanna scratch all the time as much as possible in as many ways as possible but still you won't feel satisfied. And this thing keeps growing. You bounce between awe and fear. Sudden overwhelming financial pressure, and often social criticism depending on your circle. A total re-evaluation of your life and circumstances.

4 - 3rd Trimester

Nothing feels right. Sleep is impossible. You don't want to go out and you feel totally unattractive. You'll find yourself taking a dozen trips to the bathroom every hour. You're bloated with this massive thing that just keeps growing and you just want it over with. The end seems like it will never come. Scratching anything is a huge chore.

5 - Your Water Breaks

Ideas just seem to pour out of you, often in very inappropriate places.

6 - Early Labor

Hurts like hell and it's only gonna get worse. Sorry, no drugs for you honey (and that includes heroin). The end is so tauntingly close but you don't think you'll ever get there.

7 - Mid-Labor

And you thought it was hard before. You wanna back out, but you can't. It's way too late for that. You get desperate. You'll do anything to stop it. You take lots of showers.

8 - Late Labor

You don't care that you can't back out. You're going to anyway. Fuck this shit. Let someone else pump out the next blockbuster. And they can go to hell while they're at it.

9 - Pushing Stage

Yes! You're finally working hard and it feels productive. You want this sucker out. NOW! And hey, it's not as bad as you thought it was going to be. It's almost over. There's a light at the end of the tunnel and it's shining through a glass of single malt and a smoke with your name on it! All those pussies that whine and complain. This isn't that hard. It hurts, but how much has been greatly exaggerated to the level of myth. Really, it's more like trying to have a big constipated dump than all the overblown reports of pain worse than death. Pussies.

10 - Crowning

Holy fuck! Take that back! Hurts like a god damned motherfucker cock sucking son of a bitch! You're never writing another god damned fucking piece of shit script again! You're never even gonna pick up a pen! First thing tomorrow you're gonna get your printer snipped. (This is the only point where writing diverges from childbirth, as you have no one to blame for getting you into this mess. You knocked yourself up, idiot!) Your baby is almost friggin' out but every tiny bit hurts.

11 - Birth

Oh. My. God. I'll have what she's having. Yeah!


It's out! And after all that pain, the relief is like the mother load of all orgasms. You may just see God. It feels so damn good!

12 - Afterbirth

There's a lot of blood and guck to clean up, and you'll be stinky as hell, but you won't care. You just had the mother of all orgasms.

There you have it. You'll have your perfect script in your arms. You'll want to show everybody and have them coo and tell you how wonderful and amazing your little creation is. And some will. But sooner or later, it will dawn on you that this perfect little piece of you isn't ready for the world. In fact, sometimes it stinks. It will suck all of your life and energy for a long time to come before it's actually ready to stand on its own two feet. You have a long road of nurturing and shaping ahead of you before, if you're lucky, it blossoms into an actual script.

That's it. All the facts. Now you can make informed decisions before getting into the screenwriting life.


Maybe you have what it takes to go through this huge process. Good for you. Go for it!


But it is okay to say no! Don't let yourself be lured in by cheap dinners and pressure that everybody else is doing it.


If you have any doubts whatsoever, maybe you're not cut out for screenwriting and should seriously think about wearing a condom. Don't let one moment of passion destroy your life.

It's an evil life. You get in it for the sex, but you'll pay for it for life.





Note to Women: Because the process is so close to the act of giving birth, male screenwriters make the best husbands. They actually almost get it.


beautiful image by д§mд

3 comments:

  1. Phew. That was really intense. Now I need to start a long dialogue with myself, asking if I'm really ready to make a baby... er... a script. I've made three babies already, but I think this one might stink the most. How's that for a lack of confidence? :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. now i have no doubt you are a woman. no man could have written that; not even a script writer. you may be the greatest writer of the day; you have the male and the female mind. it is very rare. i give all due respects.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Christopher, you're going to make me blush. Then I'll get all flustered and lost, and refuse to ask myself for directions. Then it will get ugly.

    ReplyDelete