Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Writing Week part 14

If I continue writing these weekly updates for a year, which I fully intend to do, then last week marked the quarter-way point. In between then and now, I started a new script. I got more jazzed up about writing it than I have been about a new script for a while. Mind you, I always have a fire lit under me for the first ten or even thirty pages, but this was the hottest I've felt the flames in a long time. Then something happened.

Without getting into the gory details, because I'm attempting to write this project without even discussing it with the League, I'll tell you that the script involves a number of deaths. I wrote a scene that involved a death similar to one a classmate of mine experienced. I wasn't great friends with her, but the school was small, so everyone knew everyone. And I got stopped cold when the scene began. Not only was it difficult to recreate something that someone I knew experienced, even though I personally know very little about what actually happened. But I felt like I didn't have a right to the experience. Who am I to write about this? How dare I write a scene about that?

I felt as if I was somehow violating her honor by doing this. My moral alarm was deafening. I felt dirty and dishonest for what I was writing. That was the first time that has ever happened to me, and though I had an idea of why, I couldn't put my finger on anything specific. Today, I think I figured it out. By writing a scene about a murder, I run the risk of glorifying the murderer. If I did that, if people sympathized with him, I would be guilty of harming her. I can't do that.

The feeling passed, at least enough for me to keep on writing. I'm nearing the end of the first act, and, barring any major roadblocks, brain farts, or walls, I should close it tomorrow. I just hope I'm doing the right thing in writing this. It's a story I felt compelled to tell for some reason, only now that I'm doing so, I feel almost ashamed. Once the League sees it, I hope they'll be able to guide me on whether or not to pursue a second draft and possible production. I have a personal rule of never writing something that I'm not interested in. Though I am interested in this, I don't know that it's something anyone would pursue making, and I certainly didn't expect it to be as emotionally difficult and painful to write.

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