Monday, April 28, 2008

The Writing Week part 17

So, I “finished” the first draft of Screenplay X today. (Don’t worry, my children, soon enough I’ll reveal the title and a brief synopsis to you.) I say “finished,” because I know that there are a handful of scenes—really, the progression in the relationship between two characters—that I need to fix before I even think of the draft as being done. Perhaps the scenes aren’t as bad as I think they are, but my gut is telling me that they don’t build enough. Rather than being rungs on a ladder that keep going up and up, they’re sort of a Stairmaster right now; they hit the high note early on and then don’t go past that again. I need to let them build more.

Something struck me as I walked to work today: I can’t write something that is not as fun as the project before it. Maybe that’s a bit unclear. The last project I wrote, my post-apocalyptic spec, was a lot of fun to work on. I really dug it, and still do. And while I loved the script I worked on before it, I had more fun with the second project. Yet, despite how much I enjoyed working on the post-apocalyptic script (my first foray into that genre!), Screenplay X, a psychological thriller, might have been the most fun I’ve had on a project yet. I don’t quite know why that is, other than to guess that I love writing more and more each time I do it. I enjoy all the projects I work on—obviously, otherwise, I wouldn’t spend my time on them—and that enjoyment increases each time I start and complete something else.

Another thing that hit me was how my approach and my superstitions while writing change from project to project. Usually, I outline. This time, I didn’t. I used to only write to music. I spent the post-apocalyptic project writing in silence, yet made sure to have tunes going for Screenplay X. (What’s most odd for X is that I didn’t always opt to listen to music that set the mood. In fact, the first few days of writing, I chose music that was the antithesis to the tone I was setting in the pages, because it was so dark, I felt this compulsion to make sure I didn’t lose myself in the darkness. Having upbeat music playing neutralized my emotions, which might sound very odd for a writer. I was still so deeply engrossed in the feel of the pages, but the music allowed me the door through which I could pull out when things got too heavy.)

The biggest difference, though, is that I haven’t told anyone in the group about this. I’m excited to get the pages out to them, but want to hold off until I tweak the scenes I mentioned above.

The biggest similarity? The schedule. Though I took to writing in the morning, rather than waiting until I got home from work each night (which has been a HUGE help), I still put in my hour a day. That precious hour is one thing I do not plan to change from project to project.

1 comment:

Zombie said...

What was I telling you about mornings, man? Huh, huh?