With the books officially closed on my western spec (unless someone of influence wants to develop it further? Operators are standing by!), a certain question has been popping up on a regular basis:
“So what are you working on next?”
(This is a close relation of that other inevitable question: “What else have you got?”)
Any writer should have an answer ready. Doesn’t matter if it’s one script or three or ten. I’ve said it before, but it can’t be emphasized enough. The more you can build up your arsenal of material, the better.
Not only does this give you more scripts, but it also means you’ve been doing a lot of writing (and rewriting), which can only help improve your skills and the quality of your material. One of the things I’ve noticed from doing rewrite after rewrite is that each subsequent draft is a little better than its predecessor.
I try to always be working on something. Whenever I’d take a break from the western, my focus would shift to another script. Results always varied; sometimes I’d get farther along than expected, or not as far as I’d wanted, or just kept going until I got to a point I considered enough. It was all prep work for each individual project, with the underlying message of “it’s all part of the process”.
So where am I now?
I’m feeling fortunate in that I’ve got several scripts to choose from, some of which have multiple drafts, whereas others are still just an outline-in-progress. No matter where they are in the development stage, the heavy lifting is already out of the way in that they exist.
All of my options are viable (to me), each for its own reasons. Do I want to go high-concept or low budget? Comedy or popcorn adventure? There is no wrong answer.
I haven’t made a final decision as to which script I’ll work on next, but whichever one it does end up being, it’ll be the right choice for me, and I’m pretty psyched about getting started on it.