View Full Version : (Poll)How long does it take to write your script

Nick Soares
02-29-2012, 12:57 PM
Just thought I would run a poll on roughly how long it take for people to write a script...

Nick Soares
02-29-2012, 12:59 PM
Definitely more then a month for me

02-29-2012, 01:01 PM
Are we talking first draft or finished product?
Or more importantly, how long for something we think is good and can sell, or something we throw to Amazon studios in the vain hope it wins something?

Nick Soares
02-29-2012, 01:02 PM
Hmm, I guess the average?

Nick Soares
02-29-2012, 01:11 PM
when writing a script myself, I find I get bad writers block about 2-3 times that puts me back a few days each time

I think I try to make sure its so original etc.. That might be why I get writer block so bad sometimes

02-29-2012, 01:15 PM
I think you can spend so much time on a script with writing, and re-writes that by the end you're just sick of it and need to take a break from it before you go back and finish it off

2001 Productions
02-29-2012, 02:50 PM
Oh, man. I'm all over the map.

I've spent years on a script; I've also cranked one out in a week.

So many factors: Did I outline the thing first or shoot from the hip? Is someone waiting for it or is it a side project? Am I working with someone else or on my own? Is it for an indie film or studio project?

02-29-2012, 06:57 PM
Really depends on the length of the film and how much detail the writer decides to put into it.

but I would say on average about a month for most people. The one I have been working on has kind of been a work in progress over the course of 3 months.

02-29-2012, 10:32 PM
My last feature took 10 mos of my spare time (I have a 'regular' FT job), but I know I could've cranked it out quicker if I'd have managed my time better.

03-01-2012, 02:42 PM
William Goldman says write it as fast as possible - maybe 5-7 pages a day if you can. You should be collecting as much info and writing it down etc. before you write so prepare yourself firsthand, or you will get that famed writer's block.

Nick Soares
03-01-2012, 03:35 PM
William Goldman says write it as fast as possible - maybe 5-7 pages a day if you can. You should be collecting as much info and writing it down etc. before you write so prepare yourself firsthand, or you will get that famed writer's block.

Great info! Thanks!

03-04-2012, 10:39 AM
I've finished a feature script in 3 days before. It usually takes me no more than a week. I don't think I've ever gone over a week before.

03-04-2012, 11:56 AM
My best time is 10 hours, my longest is about 30 hours. A six pack of beer and some smokes gets the job done. I like to bang out what is in my head as fast as i can before i lose it.

Nick Soares
03-04-2012, 12:54 PM
my best time is 10 hours, my longest is about 30 hours. A six pack of beer and some smokes gets the job done. I like to bang out what is in my head as fast as i can before i lose it.


03-05-2012, 09:56 AM
When Goldman wrote "A Bridge Too Far" he had to have it ready to go for shoot in a very short time because the producer (Levine) wanted to have it open on June 15, 1977. Attenborogh worked as the director every day for 2 straight years traveling from London, to Holland, to New York, to LA - 16 hours a day 7 days a week to make this gem of a movie work.
That said - So you still want to be in the movie business?

Crazy Jim Films
03-08-2012, 11:43 AM
It all depends on the project. I have some that have taken me years. Some that I get done in weeks. I've written shorts in anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If I'm focused and really committed to it, I generally write the first draft of a feature in about four months. I've noticed with collaborative efforts or projects I've been brought on to write, I can get done even quicker. If it's a really strong idea and the blueprint is there, writing tends to come so much easier.

03-08-2012, 10:18 PM
It depends on what I'm writing about and my mood. Once I get my characters profiles and outline done. The script can move quickly but longer than a week. I do have kids, husband and dogs. If I don't take a break my mind can get fried,(overloaded) then I get blocks.

03-09-2013, 12:16 PM
I have been writing a script for 2 years :)

LOOK Films
03-14-2013, 03:12 AM
2 hours from concept to finish, that said, it might be utter crap lol

03-14-2013, 03:55 AM
I just finished a script for a director and it took me about a month to finish the first draft! Re-writing it for updated drafts is taking me a lot longer....

03-14-2013, 05:27 AM
It depends... Some scripts have took me a year to finish them while other a month or two. I don't like pushing myself to write.
When something good pops in my mind I'm getting back on track. Well it depends as I've said. Now, It's been like 3 months since I last wrote something.

03-14-2013, 06:14 AM
A looonnnngggg time. I started my new feature screenply in October, and I'm 60% done with the first draft.
However, I've been doing a fair bit of re-writing along the way, so it's not as raw as some stuff that I've done.

I'm hoping to finish a (decent) first draft by the first week in May...I have a pretty solid idea of everything that will happen
in the rest of it, so that should be possible.

03-15-2013, 10:20 AM
The script I am working on now I started now almost 2 years ago. I wrote out the long form of the story working on character development, dialogue, narrative thread, sub plots etc as a work of fiction and I am now adapting this work to the screen. This has been the same process for my first two published novels; after seeing them through to the book shelves, I started the adaptation process. The same goes for my shorts currently in production; they started as published short stories and i slowly adapted them. The two features (cross fingers and knock on wood) are now being read for production consideration by the same producer. I like the process because once I write the long form of the story, it is there permanently and I can punch up the dialogue as it ages.

03-15-2013, 10:36 AM
I think we need to define "script." Do you mean a finished and polished script ready to send in, a rough draft, feature length or short, etc? Also if you are being paid or if it is just something you are doing in your spare time? Was there a deadline involved etc? I think the question implied a polished feature screenplay with an average page count of 90 pages writing full time. I think we can divide it up into two catagories. Feature length writing full time or Feature length writing part time.

Since I can't write full time it takes me few days to work out the outline and then about a month to first draft and then another few weeks to polish it.

03-15-2013, 01:32 PM
I have a script right now that I started in 2010. I am currently on version 41. I guess it takes me the amount of time as is required until I'm satisfied with it. There is no time limit.

03-22-2013, 03:20 PM
3 - 4 days, then I put it away for a month or so and polish it up. I do need to add that I research for a month to 6 months before I start writing. I'm also manic depressive, when I start working I write for 20 hours a day. That's the good part. When I'm on a down cycle I can't do anything.

03-27-2013, 04:38 PM
A feature script is at least 2 months. Shorter ones, of course, take less time. And even after 2 months on a feature, I re-write the hell out of it for another month.

Kurt Hathaway

Nick Soares
03-27-2013, 05:45 PM
Dang, I wish I could finish a script that fast!

Zen 786
03-27-2013, 06:29 PM
As some of the members have said it depends. There are many factors. Mood, Deadline, length, genre.frequency of write's blocs. Usually it takes more time to rewrite than writing the first draft. I always write a first draft and put it in the cold storage (If there is no deadline) then I read it after a month or so and most of the time I find flaws which were not noticeable when I first wrote it. then I start writing all over again and try to finish it before the central idea gets stale in my mind. It takes me more than 3 months to finish a script.

Vance Baryn
03-28-2013, 12:23 AM
I'm assuming you mean a feature length script. I have only ever written one of those (for a script writing class). It took me about two days to write the first draft, then the rest of the length of the class polishing it up with feedback from the teacher and others in the class (so that was maybe a month). I have written tons of shorts. Usually do that in an evening.

03-29-2013, 09:30 AM
in general if you have a clear vision : 25 day thoe rewrite process can take 1 or 2 years : depend on coverages and producer notes .

the rewrite process never end even during the shooting . a good movie become great when everyone push to fill all the plot holes.

of corse with a high concept and clear marketing target .

Bryce Welsh
03-30-2013, 03:02 PM
i type 60wpm

a 60 page script tends to take me about 3 weeks

but i can write a 10 pager in 10 to 15 minutes

Bryce Welsh
03-30-2013, 04:09 PM
Oh wait. I was thinking about how long it takes minus all pauses, just the writing itself. in that case probably more than a month. :) depending on the length, that is...