Talking Draft

Emmy-winning screenwriter Mark Duplass spoke at SXSW about his enthusiastic use of the Talking Draft Method. The multi-hyphenate revealed that he is one of the many prolific screenwriters who understands the huge benefits of this proven screenwriting method.


In the clip below, a festival attendee asks Duplass how to silence the “this is no good” voice of self-doubt that nags the attendee whenever he tries fails to write one of his “million ideas.” Mark Duplass’ answer about how to overcome doubt and finish the first draft is a masterclass:

Duplass: “A couple of tricks when you’re writing, I find it’s very bad to write in Final Draft or in a document because you can see what you’re writing. And you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh God, it’s garbage, it’s garbage,” and you lose all your confidence.

So try this trick where you take a little dictaphone or a handheld recorder, and you speak out your scripts into it.

You can’t see the words, also, you can’t turn back, it’s linear. And so what you actually have to do is it forces you to just get a vomit draft out, and you accept, because this is a vomit draft, it’s going to be stinky, that’s fine, no big deal.

So your dialogue will all sound the same because you’re talking that way, and your scene descriptions will not be eloquent because you talk them out, but you’re gonna get impeccable pacing. Because your body knows how to pace the movie because you’ve sat in front of so many movies.

And so then you can click into that other side of your brain, the “this is no good” brain, and start empirically editing that thing. And that’s a nice little trick for me.”

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