Tag: progress

Screenwriting: Collaboration, the Gift that Keeps Giving

I am incredibly, stupendously lucky to have such gifted, inspirational friends who are willing to sit back for hours, drink tea, and chat about writing.  The words flowed like Earl Gray, and, in the end, culminated in 6 pages of brilliance.

Seriously, I enjoy getting lost in my own world and writing, but it is incredibly helpful to have someone willing and able to bounce ideas back and forth.  Not only do you figure out where you are missing something, you also figure out really quickly whether or not you’re on the right track.

So, I guess the Lesson Learned (or, Re-Learned) Today would be that you should never be afraid to reach out.  There is a wealth of ideas and interesting perspectives just waiting to be explored.

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Screenwriting: The Final Streeeeeetch

I’m not sure if it is just that I am in The Writing Zone, or if it is the fact that I am in the final haul, but the Final Stretch of my script is feeling less like a stretch, and more like a leisurely stroll after a pleasant, incredibly satisfying jaunt.  Though I managed only 6 pages today (and look at me, saying “only” as if it were a bad thing), but those were six pages leading towards the inevitable confrontation that leads to the Glorious Finale.

A body was discovered, a point of contention was readdressed, Chekov’s Gun is cocked and loaded (and waiting patiently on the mantelpiece).  All in all, things are coming together in a way that is most satisfying.

I will, of course, be tweaking for dialogue, details, and general anal retentiveness to the last minute, but still.  The stage is set and the shot is fired.  All that’s left now is that last sprint to the Finish Line…and perhaps, a lot of paranoid, last minute research.

Even so.

This has been, and continues to be, one hell of a ride.

Screenwriting: SO MUCH PROGRESS OMFG

…what it says on the tin.  5 hours of revisions, a few new scenes to tighten things up, and the glee of knowing that I already have someone interested in this thing, should I decide not to produce it myself.

In terms of the purely writing aspect, having someone to bounce things off of make it so, so, sooo much easier to find out where there are holes that need filling (insert your own joke here).  I mean, I had a few ideas of places where I could add a thing or two, but having someone point out something later that can be explained in a scene that would fit in one of those potential holes is quite nice.  It reinforces the idea that I should just go with my instinct and not omit a scene, just because I’m not sure if it’s “too much.”

More often than not, those things I’ve omitted as “too much” have turned out to be the things that needed to be there the most.  Go figure.  Anyway, I will just keep reminding myself to breath, let shit go how it’s going to go, and Keep Buggering On.

Screenwriting: DING DONG, THE WICKED WRITER’S BLOCK IS DEAD

So, it’s been a few days since I could really sit down and write.  I have had moments where I’ve done research, or looked up pictures, or bookmarked articles about morticians’ practices, but no real time to write.  This, understandably, was making me Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs.  I was having mini anxiety attacks about my deadline, my story, my life, and so on.

With several ideas in mind, and armed with many notes and a heavily notated physical copy of part one, I sat down to go to work on my script.  I tweaked, and edited, and added scenes where there needed to be scenes, and changed bits that needed to be changed.  As I was very much In The Moment, I also started tweaking part two to fit in with my changes.  So far, I am at page 13 of the estimated 25 pages of part two, which isn’t so bad, considering I have two more weeks to get to that point.

All in all, I am happy with what I got done, but realize that I needed that time to really sit on my project and think about a few of the characters that I loved, but were not working as they were.  Also, it gave me a chance to realize what I was building up towards wasn’t working as is.  So, I gave that plot line a metaphorical death, while giving the new character responsible for that plot line a literal death.

Maybe it was a bit of a cop out to go the “possible new friend…? NO, I KEEEEL HIM” route, but I can always go back and tweak things, if needed.  Honestly, I just needed that moment to underline the difference between two characters, and that scene very much served its purpose.  Whether or not it works, over all, remains to be seen.

Anyway, I am just glad that I found a way to solidify my part one in a way that it makes the events in part two much less of a stretch.  Hopefully, my Guru of Screenwriting will feel the same way.  If not, at least I know he will give me a plethora of lovely, helpful notes.

Scriptwriting: WRITER-HULK, SMASH

So, I ended up going back and doing more than simply writing up a script break down.  Mostly this way because I was in the right frame of mind to go over the troublesome bits from yesterday, but also because I know that if I let myself kick back and put it off, I will do so till the final deadline.

Procrastination is my Fatal Flaw.  If I were a demigoddess, I would have died young, because I would have kept putting off fighting the monsters till they stormed my house and ate me.  Just saying.

Anyway, I put my foot down and did some writing.  I was pleased to find that breaking down my script by pages helped, as I ended up subconsciously sticking to it.  I said I was going to get to THIS plot point by page 45, and by gum, I did.  So, I was happy enough to stop for today.

To be honest, I feel like I HULK SMASHED the hell out of my script, in the best way.  I am that much closer getting to the really nitty gritty bits, and the surprisingly brutal climax.  I just have to keep chipping away at it and try and get in at least 5 pages per session, and I’ll be golden.

 

Screenwriting: The Evolution of A Story

It’s interesting to me how much a story can evolve over time.  Not even so much from concept to screen, but from concept to page.  Honestly, I find the story taking me down unexpected roads even as I’m writing down a break down for the rest of Part 2, and the whole of Part 3.

These new roads and alleys that I’m traversing are not unwelcome side trips, per se, but definitely unexpected.  Still, if there is one thing I learned from the J.K. Rowling “controversy” (and I use this term extremely lightly) regarding the romantic fate of Hermione Granger, it’s that you should let the story take you where it needs to go, instead of falling so in love w/ the original concept, that you end up pigeonholing yourself, your character, your plot, etc.

I had such a defined, clear cut idea when I planned this story out last semester.  I knew what it was going to be about, all the twists and turns it would take, what I wanted, etc.  Still, the more time I had to sit on it–and only sit on it, as I had nothing on hand with which to jot things down over winter holiday–the more time I had to think on all the plot holes, and let the story take me into the land of What Ifs.

This, in the end, was the best thing I could have done for myself, and my story.  These What Ifs led to Hows, Whys, and eventually, Why Nots.  I still have my What If moments, but they are considerably more focused now, and are easier to track into their inevitable Hows and Whys.  Perhaps this is a result of knowing my characters, or where my story is going.  Perhaps it is because my brain is rewarding me for going with the flow of things.  Either way, it’s working, so I’m not about to question the Madness of the Method.

Though I, admittedly, had a bit of a Kermit Flail yesterday, it was more born of general anxiety inherent in creative endeavors than it was true doubt about my commitment, or my inability to get this done.

That being said, I hope my brain knows that that sort of thing isn’t at all helpful, so let’s just have some tea and get on with things, shall we?

Lessons for today:

Let your story as you’re WRITING it, not as you’ve PLANNED it, be your guide.

Tea and plenty of protein make for a happier brain, and a less stressed me.

Don’t be afraid of imperfect. Imperfect can be tweaked to work well.  Imperfect can be interesting.  Perfection is a fallacy with the sole purpose of giving people seeking it anxiety attacks.

 

Scriptwriting: JUST DO EET.

The lesson I learned today, well…the title says it all.  It was a slow start, at first, as I settled in to my new location of the third of part one.  There were a few moments where I had to squirm to get comfortable.  In a lot of ways, it was like I was trying on a new pair of shoes, deciding if they were going to work for me.

Still, I kept to my motto of “K.B.O.”: Keep Buggering On, and did just that.  I had moments where my brain kept trying to interject with “but…can you DO that,” to which I had to reply “YES, so SHUT UP.”  This is my script, and my story, and I will tell it how it needs to be told, regardless of whether my methods are conventional or not.

By the end, I finally gave face…if not a name…to the thing that I’d been hinting at about my characters for the previous 15 pages.  That, most of all, was a high point of my writing day.

Well, that and the fact that I’ve officially exceeded my min page count for part one.  HUZZAH.

Yes, that’s right.  I did not 3.5, not 5.25, but 10 pages today. 10.  Though I probably have roughly that left before I can happily move on to the middle act, as it were, this is not something to sneeze at.  At least, not for me, who is a writer of short stories and is constantly being told “GO BIGGER.”  I honestly think I have my surprisingly unproductive day yesterday to thank for this, as I have referenced my little blueprints countless times in these past 3hrs 8 minutes

So, I can happily call it a day with a “Job Well Done, M’Lady,” and drink a cup of Victory Tea (Well, English Breakfast, but who’s keeping track).