Category: Creativity

The 6th Seal, or…Whatever

It’s funny how, once upon a time with a deadline, I could manage roughly 6 pages a day, or more.  Now, my first and only six pages seem to sit there, staring…and judging.

Even so, I am not going to begrudge myself a small start, because at least it is A start.  I have finally, at long EFFIN LAST, committed to a (general, mosty-developed-but-open-to-minor-change) plot that I like, with characters I believe, and DAMN if that doesn’t feel good.

Sure, I may “waste” 5 hours at a time looking at pictures on Google of friendship necklaces, and junker camper vans, and tourist sites for my locations, but if that helps me to know what the hell I’m doing later, it is time well…spent? Well wasted?  Either way, Well Done, Me.

Though I am surprised to find myself struggling to find my footing after the beast of a script last time around (it maxed at 122 pages), I am not discouraged.  It was last May that I handed in my last script, and since then the idea of writing a second has been just that…an idea.

Maybe it’s because I have zero experience spec writing, though I am familiar with what it entails. Maybe it’s because I am so boooored with a lot of what I see that I haven’t been inspired.  Mostly, it’s because I am of the mindset that if I don’t want to watch something, I don’t want to write it…so I had to take my time to figure out what I’d want to see on screen that someone with my style of writing could pull off.

That, at least, sounds more impressive (albeit 100x more pretentious than) the cold, hard facts.  When it comes to my own writing (narrative or for the screen), I have a terrible habit of procrastination when lacking the mind-numbing terror that comes from having a looming deadline.

Without the horror of facing failure should I fail to produce a complete script in 16 weeks (…I did it in 12. UNF…), I just…drag my feet.  I get lost in the dangerous habit of putting it off “til tomorrow,” or getting caught up in “research” (looking at pretty pictures and drawing terrible stick-figure thumbnails).

All this to say, judgmental inner screenwriter be damned.  Those 6 pages may not be my most impressive page count, but it is more than I’ve managed since last May, so I’m counting that as a win.

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Hello? Was it ME you were looking For?

Yeah, so…this is going to be the second post in a day, because I feel silly that I had this big “I’m NOT dead and SO DOING THIS” post, and then disappeared…again.

Anyway, I finally have my characters and my scenario, so it will be a matter of balancing the Real Life with kicking my own arse and DOING THIS THING.

The one thing I have noticed is that as much as I flailed and stressed and whined about my homework and deadlines and blahblah, that pressure really ensured I got stuff done.  It has been, what, since June or July since I have been planning on writing again, and now it is late January and I have done all of 1 1/2 character profiles and JUST finalized my script synopsis.

To be honest, that’s a bit embarrassing.  I could say it was because I wanted to be a perfectionist and make sure I got it right the first time, but that would be only sorta-true.

I DID have another idea for a while, and about 5 pages of script, but I just…wasn’t feeling it.  At all.  It wasn’t bad, per se, but just something I couldn’t work on FIRST.

Thus, I went to square one, and here I am.  I have my characters (though not finalized on paper), and my scenario, but I am REALLY missing my glorious Muse of all things writing.  She had this amazing ability to read through my script and point out EXACTLY the bit that was troubling me, without me saying a word, and offer a vague suggestion that lead to pure magic.

I knew she was brilliant, but I guess I hadn’t realized how much I needed a sounding board.  So, this may be a good test to see if I can do this without someone right there who can be that sounding board for me.  Who knows.

So, all this to say, I really AM working on another script…I just never expected for it to take this long just to START.

The Debate

So, I found an old non-fictional narrative prompt I wrote years ago (2012) for a class, and I had one of those intensely personal debates of To Post or Not To Post.  Normally, I’d say screw it, but in this case, well…

This story was based on my extremely emotional reaction the first time I visited the permanent exhibit at the National Holocaust Memorial and Museum, and aside from being very trigger-y (even for me), I just don’t know if I should publish something like that?

Even if my intention isn’t to be exploitative, but to share something intensely personal, there is still the risk of coming across as trite, which I really, really don’t want to do.

Thus, the dilemma…To Post, or NOT To Post.

Do I put it out there, visceral description of sights, sounds, emotions, no matter how it comes across, or do I keep the personal personal and let it continue to sit in my file cabinet gathering dust.

Honestly, I really don’t know.

I’m Not Dead!

So, after an embarrassingly long blogging hiatus, I am back…mostly because I’ve finally decided to get my happy arse in gear and start writing another…wellll, two other scripts.  It’s taken a bit of time to get to this point, but it took me nearly 6 months to get to the point of writing the first one, so I don’t think I’m doing too badly.

Anyway, yes…since doing these fun little blog dealies helped so much the first time around, I figure I’d go for it with these, if only to vent and flail over my blocks, and throw mini parades over my triumphs.

Speaking of triumphs…Script One finally has a premise that isn’t as leaky as a sieve, and Script Two has a Title! 

…these are small triumphs, yes, but I totally, totally count them.  It may be one tiny step for this writer, but it is a GRAND JETE for writingkind, because…writer’s block, what writer’s block?

Oh, you mean that giant wall of inactivity and indecision?  Watch me leap the fuck over that.  Here I go…

Screenwriting: Breaking That 100 Page Barrier

It may seem odd that this is such a big thing, but it really really is.  Yes, it is roughly a minute per page, with every change of location being a new scene, so it makes it easier.

Still.  As somebody who leaped straight from short stories, or short chaptered stories, into script writing, this is a big deal.  Yes, I have a bit more to go, but this is the final stretch, and it feels incredible.  The ideas are coming together, the shit is about to hit the fan, and all the loose ends  that I’ve chosen to tie up are going to be tied up.

Yes, of course there are re-reads and edits to do, but that doesn’t lessen my excitement over surpassing my goal and nearing the end.  I enjoy doing this far too much to ever feel like complaining about the necessary drudgery.

Screenwriting: Tip-Toe Through the Tulips Towards Triumph

I am getting closer, and closer, and closer towards finishing this script.  Not only is that making me incredibly happy, but it feels amazing.  What is doubly amazing is that I still have quite a few scenes to go, and am already at page 94.  So, yes. It is safe to say that this will max out much, much longer than originally anticipated.

I know that Brevity is the Soul of Wit, and all that, according to some schools of thought, but I say PFFFFFTTTT.

Why would I ever, ever, h-eevvver (…can you hear Dr. Cox’s voice, because I can…) sacrifice a cohesive story and well-rounded characters for the sake of a shorter story/script?  That would just be crazy.  I know I’m already a bit a CrayCray, as most creative types can be, but not enough to sabotage myself or my story.

So, yes.  I may have planned for 75 pages, but will happily take my 100 or so pages that I will end up with. 🙂

Screenwriting: Work Work Work WorkWork

I haven’t exactly been whistling while I’ve worked, but that may be because I’m too focused on actually working.  I am so close that I can almost taste it, and it tastes like Apple Pie a la Mode and Triumph.

Delicious, delicious triumph.

Having a very, very basic outline of where things are going is helpful, but I’m not letting that stop things from develop the way they absolutely should.  It is nice to know where you want to end up, but I try to let my characters have a lot of say in how they get there.  After all, I’m merely the writer.  They know themselves better than I do.

Annnd, if I haven’t scared you all off by that little glimpse into my writing process, I will continue by saying that I am loving every minute of this, and am looking forward to my next big undertaking.  Though, maybe, I won’t work with such a tight deadline.