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Screenwriter's Compass by Guy Gallo

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4

FIRST DRAFT

THE BLANK PAGE

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining…is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.

—E. L. Doctorow

Jump In

It is never too early to start writing the first scene. The sooner you get your characters up on their feet, walking about in an imagined geography, and talking to one another, the sooner you will be able to learn more about your fable and about the direction to take to turn it into a constructed narrative.

It’s true that you have to have some idea of shape and character in your head before you start writing scenes. But I’m trying to dispel the notion that there is a correct order of composition. That the outline must ...

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