The Muscle Draft

Continued from previous post. After outlining my story, I took my cards and notes and scribblings and sat down to do what Darren Aronofsky likes to call "The Muscle Draft". I started at the beginning and "muscled" all the way through to the end. This was extremely challenging for me as I typically rewrite things over and over and over till I am happy with them. With the Muscle Draft I just pushed through scene by scene, card by card and spewed out my story as I knew it. The further into the screenplay I got, the more I doubted and even hated what I was writing. The characters were inconsistent, their actions unjustified, and the chronology of events nonsensical. But at the end, I had a script. A pretty horrible script, but it was something. It is always a big victory to be able to hit "print", no matter what comes out of the printer.

After vomiting forth the Muscle Draft, I had something I could read, something I could judge. From there, I refined, rewrote, added, and subtracted until the screenplay made some sort of sense, gave a clear picture of who these characters are, and made the tone of the movie apparent.

At that point, this point, the Muscle Draft becomes my Rough Draft.