Choosing Your Next Story

Ever heard how writing is about making choices?  Choices in your character action, moments in a scene, plot points. Whatever it is, you have to make choices. Sometimes big, sometimes small — either way they are crucial.

The same goes for choosing your next story.

I hang a note card near my desk that reads “the next story could be the one” – meaning the next script I write could possibly make my career. So I treat every script with that “make or break” passion. Choosing the next story is very important to my success.

It’s about timing. It’s about your career. Choosing your story is a career move.

Review your choices. if you have been writing for a while, you should have plenty of notes and folders, full of ideas, plot lines, characters, whatever. Make sure to review them. I list all my options. Ones that have legs, ones that inspire me; I make a pros and cons list of each.  I whittle it down to three of four. I dig deeper, I research, weigh in the market, my inspiration, and I ultimately choose which one  I can create and tell — successfully.

It takes me roughly eight months to finish a script. Those eight months are long. That’s almost a year. A year I could had spent on writing that other story that could had won an Oscar. I wouldn’t have known this of course. One can even blame fate. The right story at the right time. Read by the right person.

We all have stories we want to tell. Just make sure you are ready to tell that story. Make sure telling that story is worth the investment. And every time you start thinking about your next story remember it’s your career at stake.

Choose wisely.

-REH

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