Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lost Marbles

So I recently suffered a personal setback and, in an effort to distract myself, I poured myself into the new novel. I had already begun chipping back at it, but found (with the amount of distraction I needed) that I was able to increase my output dramatically. I now have a rough first draft and am planning to jump right into the rewrite.

The thing that struck me (as it has with every completed project) was the question: "Why didn't I do this sooner?"

The answers are numerous, but the main point of it is distraction. Distracted by life, television, work, money, fb, hanging-out/"liming", family, etc. etc... All the distractions are there for entertainment and necessity. The necessities must be dealt with. There's just no way around that. But the entertainment... well that's where you can sit down and write. Write for the joy of it and remember what it is that really fuels the desire, which is the love of the craft.
I hope I'm finally learning to let the writing become the distraction (at least until it can become "the work").

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I lost my way, but I would sit and churn out a page here and there like it was my duty, a promise I had made to some old former-self to never give up on this dream, to put in the time until the windfall. Because, you see, you reach a point where you feel, "I need to do this," and forget how much you really WANT to do it.

For the first time in a long time I think I feel that old desire again. Not just the desire driven by the knowledge that I AM a writer. That nowhere else do I feel as at home, as relevant, or as satisfied. That this is what I have to do. But the desire also driven by the fun of it, of losing myself in a world of my own creation, of chasing my shadow through widows and refusing to let the real world catch me, age and reason be damned - at least for a little while, at least for a moment...

Life will surely come beckoning. Right now though, I'm writing for me again. Because I want to.

And I like it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Aftermath ver. 1.1

The holidays came and went and I took the time to relax.  I read a couple of books (The Dream of Perpetual Motion and Coppermine) and at some point, I went over my short story.  Unfortunately, I just wasn’t feeling it, so I decided to shelve it for now and stay focused on screenwriting as things are “looking up.”

I got feedback from Blue Cat in early January and it was very positive.  WOOT!  The one thing they suggested I work on was some of my conversational dialogue, and that didn’t come as a surprise as I had rushed to meet the early deadline and neglected doing a proper dialogue revision.  So the past couple of weeks have been spent on reading, and re-reading, the script and trying to tweak it here and there.  I thought I was done marking it up tonight, but when I got home I got to thinking that I need to look at the bigger picture.  I’ve been so focused on the words and changing them around that I haven’t sat back and looked at each scene from the perspective of the character.  That is to say, I’ve been shying away from overhauling complete scenes.

The scenes themselves and their placement within the sequences and screenplay aren’t the problem.  It’s the characters’ voices that’s bugging me.  I just feel like I should be sitting down and brainstorming more on how the characters would express themselves because right now, in some cases, it feels as though they’re just taking instructions from me.  And that blows.

Don’t get me wrong.  There’s some dialogue that I’m happy with, even proud of.  The feedback from Blue Cat didn’t indicate that all the dialogue sucks.  They just recommended that I pay closer attention to some of the conversational dialogue as sometimes it’s a little too conveniently plot heavy.  (They were nice enough to point out that I tend to “show” more than I “tell,” which is good. )

So I think I’ll be giving it another read before typing up my revisions and passing it off to friends for feedback.  In the meantime, I’ve already started reworking my logline and one pager, and I’ll be giving another screenplay the revision treatment as well.  Research into agents and managers who accept unsolicited queries is progressing and there have been not one, but TWO recent issues of Creative Screenwriting containing articles that express cautious optimism for the spec market.  Online research into the spec market seems to confirm that 2011 could be a better year than 2009 and 2010. 

Now’s the time to learn how to type when fingers are crossed.