first personThe process of finding my way into a story is different each time. It depends on the subject matter, how innate the material is to me and my sensibilities, or just depending on where I am in my own headspace at the time. I usually try to find my way into the character, or whatever cool set pieces or beats are going to make me really excited and make it fun to write. Some projects require more research, some less. But all of them require a great deal of procrastination.

I generally start with a beat sheet, which I develop into a short outline. It’s all very sketchy at the start. I use a program that allows me to lay my entire story out in blocks (sort of like index cards) so that I can see what it looks like from beginning to end. It also allows me to color the blocks separately so that I can track the protagonist beats, action beats, sub-plot beats, etc. Once I have the outline I make a list of the scenes that I want to write each day. (sort of like a director’s shot list) Sometimes I write in sequence, sometimes not. Often I’ll do dialogue on a tape recorder, just to hear how it sounds and then rewrite it later.

A typical day at he office varies for me depending on whether I’m developing ideas or writing a draft of a script. When I’m drafting I approach it pretty systematically. I budget out my days. Six pages a day, five days a week. Four weeks to a first draft. I usually get in the office around 10:00 a.m. and will write until 1:00 p.m., or at least until I have four pages done before lunch. Then I’ll write again from 2:00 to 6:00. During this time I will write another two pages and loosely revise the day’s work, in addition to returning the necessary phone calls. Now this is all ideally speaking. There are times when I spend the whole day in the office trying to figure out what I’m supposed to write and won’t get it done until I get home and the family’s asleep. Either way, I try to make the day’s pages or I know I’ll have to play catch up later. I only put myself through these paces in order to get a first draft done, and the rewriting/editing phase is considerably more flexible.


Tyger Williams, a product of southern California, attended the University of Utah and Long Beach State University, where he studied Film, Television, and Marketing. After interning as a story analyst, he tried his hand at screenwriting. The immediate results were an unintended comedy, the semi-autobiographical film everyone writes, and his first produced film, MENACE II SOCIETY. Williams has most recently worked on NIGHT TRAIN: THE SONNY LISTON STORY, as well as a remake of the 1970′s blaxploitation film FOXY BROWN, and GRIDIRON GIRLS, a dramedy about life in the world of women’s professional football. He has also developed various television pilots and is currently adapting the Marvel comic character Brother Voodoo into a series for the Sci-Fi channel.