Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Writing Week part 2

Well, it's been a week already, somehow. The interesting thing is that I feel like I'm just as far along as I was a week ago, which is to say, a foot still on square one. However, that's not the case.

For the first time, I've done something other that either write or outline. (Sure, I've done research for past projects, too, but just minimally.) This time around, though, I find myself sitting at my computer typing page long answers to questions that I ask myself.

Briefly, so as to not give away too much about my script, the idea centers around a bounty hunter in a chaotic world. (Vague enough for you?) Of course I knew that there were going to be questions that I would have to answer before I could progress with the story. Up until I began sitting down each night to work on the script, I didn't realize how important the answers to the questions were. I literally couldn't progress until I answered a handful of them; I was stuck. By the end of the week--mind you, I started with three pages of script written--I was on page fifteen, but had over eight, single spaced pages of answers to myself. There was just so much I didn't know an anticipate having to know.

Truth be told, I'm not really content with the pages that I turned out. I was writing them while still lacking the answers I needed, trying to fool myself into thinking that was OK. Another first for me: I re-wrote scenes over and over, jumping back to them night after night, even though pages were piling on in front of them. It was that problem with the answers; my mind kept wavering, the pages kept feeling wrong to me, and the direction I wanted to take the script kept changing. Are the scenes stronger for that? No, I don't think so, because I'm still reworking them.

Last night, the final night of Week One, I had to ask myself a major question that I thought I'd resolved. In doing so, I upset the work I had done, once again requiring the two scenes I rewrote the most to be looked at again. In truth, it's an important question, and the answer to it will strengthen Act One (and the rest of the film) to the point where I can comfortable write it.

At the end of the week, though my mind was still foggy on many key elements of the script, I did have a few positive things to take away from those first seven days. For one, though I was unsure of many things, I did have a solid enough foundation laid out that I could embark upon the outlining process with little more than the natural stress and aggravation of outlining. Secondly, I had written through my inciting incident, however many rewrites it might require. And, lastly, while I was sitting in a diner having a work breakfast on Friday morning, I got that feeling. The feeling that things were good. The feeling that I was writing again and that being creative was going to lift my spirits. I had the urge to pull out a pen and paper and just write down ideas, dialogue, anything (which I actually did on my way to the diner).

Even if the pages weren't coming quickly, the creative juices were flowing. Week One was a very much needed foundation for the weeks that lie ahead.

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