Monday, August 31, 2009

Here it is....

My first post. A year, almost to the day, from when Dan posted the first entry. And now, Im coming in from the cold to settle down into the role of a serious writer. Is that possible? Im not really sure. But this is a first big step.

Already my thoughts go haywire. Where do I begin? I've already started typing and erased the previous line about five times. This is not a good sign. So, I'm going to put some pertinent stuff here and call it done.

I'm writing. A novel. A slow, meandering process. Its a novel that I've been writing for fifteen years. It started strong, so many years ago, with a great opening paragraph. In my mind it became the paragraph that could never be topped. Then it became a few pages here, a few pages there. I turned to other stories, short ones. And completed a good handful. One of them was even published. It was a story called 'Permission'. It was published in Tesseracts 10, a Canadian anthology, which came out in 2006.

But. And this is the big, But. I never, ever could bring myself to restart that novel. It was my albatross. Lack of confidence, lack of motivation, lack of discipline. So many lacks, conspired against me. But, I've started again. Ive started at a page a day. A goal that has been mutually arranged with Hugh. As he is also fighting demons to complete his novel.

Questions and reasons and further musings will all be address in later posts. But for now, it's going well. Slowly, but well.


I’m still here.
Currently in a bit of a rut. You see, I stress over the “un-fun” things. Writing a synopsis and treatment falls under that heading. I had hoped to get it all done in a couple of days, but here I am, two weeks later. In a bit of a rut.

I’ll be done by the end of the week.

Here are some links I found on the “un-fun.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rewrite Schedule

Here's something I went looking for in my notebooks. It's from Nika Rylski's Act 3 Workshop, though I seemed to have scribbled something she said about borrowing it from McKee. It's a good place to start after you complete your first draft, especially if it's your first script.

1st Draft Rewrite – Overall Structure
1. Key Questions (McKee handout) [This, I'll post if I can find it in my files]
2. What is the relationship between POA* – Crisis – Climax?

2nd Draft Rewrite – Sequencing
1. Are sequences ordered correctly?
2. Can script be broken down into sequences?
3. Are there “Qs?”

3rd Draft Rewrite - Character
1. Does each character have life off screen?
2. Are they three dimensional?
3. Is each character necessary to the plot?
4. Related to Protagonist in terms of function?
5. Does each character have a spine?
6. Is Master Antagonist as strong as Protagonist?
7. Is there a character arc?
8. Is motivation clear?

4th Draft Rewrite – Scene by Scene
1. Is each scene necessary?
2. Is each scene doing more than one thing?
3. Can talking heads scene be replaced by visuals?
4. Does opening scene “grab?”

5th Draft Rewrite – Recurring Motifs
1. Looking for motifs that contribute to Script cohesion

6th Draft Rewrite – Dialogue
1. Try a reading.
2. Try reading it to yourself out loud.

7th Draft Rewrite – Formatting + Spelling + Typos

*POA - Point of attack. I'm only clarifying it because I seem to remember Nika saying that it's what she calls it, and point in fact, most literature on three act structure I've read (including "Story" and Syd Fields "Screenplay") refer to this as the "Inciting Incident."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where's the time?

I don't know how the pros do it. Seriously, they write screenplays, short stories, novels, and some of them still maintain a blog. Nuts.

Got a little pumped up after some recent emails and facebook correspondence with a writer buddy currently in Trinidad, ( something here!) so here's another attempt at a blog entry. In fact, last night I came up with some more ideas about what I'd like TWIP to be and shared them with Hugh this afternoon. Waiting on his reply....

Anywho....looking back on that last entry kind of made me laugh. But all in all, I did stick with that plan I outlined there. I did however take a long detour in March, April, and May to work on my second script which is finally in GREAT shape. Actually, I think May and part of June were spent reading and recharging my batteries. After that, I started to re-outline my 3rd screenplay. I refuse to look at the original draft, and I gotta say, this approach is really working.

I've been half assed with my market research, but it's coming along. I'm hoping to start sending queries in September or October. And though my focus has been on features, I'm still hoping to go back to that TV pilot I wrote with Mark and today I found a great entry on Dead Things on Sticks which will have me glued to my laptop this week (and inspired the beginning of this entry) Check it out here.

Hopefully I'll be back sometime this week as opposed to nine months from now.