Recently, I came up with a concept for a horror short but nothing really came of it. There is, after all, a big difference between a concept and a fully developed story. Still, I loved the concept and thought long and hard before I found that one ‘key’ element the idea was missing. Within an instant I had a main character and a setting. I had a story…
This sudden rush of creativity happened at 3 AM.
It’s an interesting dilemma when you come up with something exciting in the middle of the night. Do you risk forgetting your ideas? Do you write yourself a note and return to it in the morning? Or do you seize the moment, get out of bed and write?
In this particular case, my horror concept actually freaked me out to the point where I wasn’t going to sleep regardless… So I got out of bed and fired up Final Draft.
Before I began writing the screenplay, I took a moment to appreciate the atmosphere I created for myself. It was the middle of the night, I kept all the lights off in my office and it was cold. A perfect setting to write a horror script.
Writing in the middle of the night used to be my favorite time to write. I used to set alarms for 4 AM, write and then head back to bed for a nap before school. Over the years, I began to appreciate sleeping more and the middle of the night became a distant memory. It made this new screenplay that much more exciting. I was back in my element and before I knew it, it was 7:45 and I was putting the finishing touches on a 5 page first draft. I was full of energy and there was officially no hope of falling asleep again.
So I gathered some images and created a poster for the project. When that didn’t tire me out, I wrote a few posts for this site. (This post included)
All in all, I was pretty proud of myself for getting out of bed and writing that morning. I may have regretted it when I got to work that evening but it was worth it. Sometimes all it takes is the will to get out of bed, sit down and write. I have a feeling I haven’t seen the last of the screenwriting all-nighters.
When do you like to write?