Screenwriting Weekly #8: Life Is Short

August 8, 2017

Ty Leisher
Aug 9, 2017 · 4 min read

Hey!

I want to share something with you that happened to me this week because it changed my mindset and view of the world.

I had a spot on my leg that refused to heal for a few weeks. I went to the doctor and he promptly said “That’s skin cancer.” Now, I’m afraid of dying. Health anxiety is one of my biggest problems, and it’ll keep me up at night if something is wrong. The moment he said “skin cancer” my heart sank and a fleeting moment of what I would leave behind if I were to die today crossed my mind. It was a terrible feeling.

Now, don’t worry, I had it checked out and turns out, it isn’t skin cancer. But for the past four days I’ve been considering my work ethic. My desire to write for a living, to have more produced, to leave something behind for my children. This train of thought led me to realize that I don’t write enough. I waste a lot of time doing trivial tasks or wasting them on something that doesn’t matter.

I bring this up for two reasons. The first is that I wear my emotions on my sleeve and tend to be up-front and open with personal things in my life. The other is to remind you, you could be stricken with a terminal illness tomorrow. Would you be happy with the way you spend your days if tomorrow you found out your life may end soon?

Not to be macabre, but take a moment to think about that for a moment. If the answer is yes, great! If the answer is no, what would you do different if you knew you didn’t have much time left?

Me? More writing, more family. Everything else is fluff.

Ty Leisher, Curator

If you prefer to see this in email format, read it on the web.


FEATURED

ARTICLE: Spec Scripts That Sold for Millions, but Were Never Made

Just because you sell a script doesn’t mean it’s going to be made. Just because you sell it doesn’t mean you hit the jackpot either. Professional writers do this consistently. Assignments and rewrites are our bread and butter. If you can’t be consistent, you can’t be a professional writer.

ANALYSIS: THR 2017 Drama Showrunner Roundtable

A fascinating look at television writing from the people who run it. If you haven’t seen more of THR’s amazing roundtables, you really ought to check out their YouTube. Amazing stuff.

GUIDE: How to Find Your Theme

Personally, I let theme find the story rather than trying to force a theme into it. If something can naturally fall into the story and get a message across, that’s ideal. If you try to force your message into a story it’ll ring false.

GUIDE: Writing Mantra: “Writing is rewriting”

I couldn’t agree more with this. I recently did fourteen rewrites on a script that is probably going to end up in a drawer… but it’s still practice. Hemingway said “The first draft of anything is shit” but I’d say the first five drafts of anything are garbage.

ANALYSIS: Script to Screen: “The Dark Knight Rises”

This series is really fantastic. Looking at a scene and reading the script that it was born from is a great way to learn how writers describe a scene, how an actor interprets the scene and how an editor finishes a scene.

WEEKLY UPDATE

READ OF THE WEEK

If you’d like to feature your script PM it to me with a logline and genre!


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Ty Leisher

Written by

Not a serial killer despite my search history. Screenwriter & Filmmaker | Sundance Semi-Finalist | Crime and Mystery Addict | Founder of Exit 44 Entertainment

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