Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tip O'Day for Writers #84

Guest blogger Taylor Grant on the phases of writing.

Think of your screenplay, novel or short story as a sculpture. The first draft is putting together the clay that resembles what you’re trying to create. The rewrites are where you cut a little here, remove a little there, and ultimately reveal your work. The polish is where you painstakingly refine your sculpture into a professional piece.

This philosophy removes the necessity for perfection at the beginning of whatever you’re writing and allows you to enjoy the process more.

Taylor Grant is a produced screenwriter, award-winning copywriter, published author and professional script consultant.

Dixon says - I like it when a writer brings a first draft to my local critique group, since then I feel free to suggest major plot changes, different goals for the protagonist, consolidating or eliminating minor characters (or inventing new ones), and so on. With a book or short story that's been through rewrites, I figure the author's not going to consider such major changes. That's a time to focus on inconsistencies, flat dialogue, and grammar.


  1. Good stuff Taylor. The majority of independent films that I read seem short on writing and story, and long on financing. Likewise, the financing helps with distribution, etc., and the back end.
    It sucks that better stories aren't being produced, at least not as many as the aforementioned. From a studio perspective, I look at an "Arthur" reboot, or "Karate Kid," and feel nauseous, as there could have been at least 5 good indy stories told with those budgets. It's sad.

  2. Thanks, Taylor. I have those dreaded "perfection" pictures that often control me. I like the analogy of a sculpture. I need to just throw the clay/words onto the paper and then modify.

  3. Grayson/Pam - I'm glad that you found the tip helpful. It was one of the most influential concepts in my growth as an artist.

    I think that removing the necessity for perfection at the beginning of any artistic endeavor allows us the freedom to express ourselves fully--and that's truly a gift. Not only to the artist, but also to the audience.