community spec – draft done!

i’m done with a draft for my community spec. i can’t believe i wrote it in 19 days! here’s the breakdown of time:

  • 8/4 – decided to write a spec for the show community. i watched all the episodes from the first season over and over.
  • 8/6 – broke down the structure of the show.
  • 8/7 – started coming up with loglines for possible stories.
  • 8/13 – started writing the outline.
  • 8/18 – imported my outline into final draft and started writing pages.
  • 8/23 – finished my draft!

this was definitely the fastest spec i wrote. previously, it was my office spec wich i wrote in a month, but i wasn’t working when i wrote that, vs this script where i had a full time job. this was my 4th spec, so i’ve gotten familiar with the process. i put the time in at the start to research the show, break down its structure, and develop a solid outline, and that lets me write the actual dialogue and pages pretty quickly.

even though i initially started writing pages in final draft, i ended up doing the bulk of the writing in screenwriter. i’ve said this more than once, but the notes feature in screenwriter is awesome, and the notes feature in final draft is useless.

even when i’m writing pages, i still work with my outline open and refer to it constantly. this way i have my roadmap and don’t get lost in my scene. if i make any structural changes in the script, i’ll change it in my outline as well.

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  1. Congrats! It sounds like you did a good amount of work before you started writing, which should help with the rewrite process. How many passes do you normally take after a first draft is finished?

    I have a very inefficient process of writing, which involves quickly writing a first draft (w/ no outline). Then, I look at my first draft and figure out what parts I like and if the actual story/plot are worth pursuing. After that I go to an outline stage and plot out he story and create a “new” first draft (because most of the time the story completely changes). I’ll repeat this process until I find a story that I think is good enough and then I write about 3 drafts and take a bout three more polish passes.

    It’s not the best method, but I end up discovering my story more through writing the script than outlining, so it works better for me in the long run to almost jump back and forth between the two, rather than start with an outline.

    Good luck on the rewrites!

    1. it’s hard to say how many rewrites i do. until i don’t hate it so much? ha ha. i usually present it to my writing group and also give it to friends who may not be writers but are fans of the show, then make revisions based on their notes. once the structure is all set, i’ll do at least one pass just for jokes.

      thanks for sharing your process! i think as long as people find something that works for them and it gets them to finish their projects, that’s all that matters.

  2. Congratulations on finishing. I always think the outlining part is the worst and most nerve racking, and that after that the fun part starts. I was curious to if you applied to the Nick Fellowship again?

    1. i totally agree! the outlining is the hard part. if you’re a staff writer though, i think you work on the outline as a group so the process is a little different. i’m not sure if that’s easier or harder. as for the nick fellowship, i did apply! i wrote a 30 rock spec.

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