Monday, April 21, 2008

"When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things." Finish the quote

I must begin by saying that Forbidden Kingdom’s success depresses me. Especially because when I first heard of the movie, there was a part of me that wanted to go see it.

A friend is moving to Prince Edward Island Canada, where there are two lobsters and two oysters seasons a year. I agreed to booksit while she leaves the good ol’ New York City to go on a year of cold, writing, home-wrecking spree. Among the books she's leaving behind, she specifically pointed one out to me, saying I would enjoy it.

The book’s name is Midnight Blue. It’s thick, especially for a paperback. However, neither the New Yorker nor my next next library book arrived yet, and if I don’t have something to read on the bus in the morning, I go stir crazy. So, you know, whatever, let’s see what this book is about.

It’s about vampires. Light on the plot. Heavy on the violence. And oh God is the violence wonderful. It’s brutal, gritty, vicious, ugly, and it doesn’t skimp on the details. I can’t even bring myself to think about the rom. com. anymore, and there’s a part of me that wonders why on earth did I want to write something funny and romantic and, most of all, happy in the first place?

When I’m writing something that’s...not very nice, I always think how nice would it be to write a script like 50 First Dates, or, I don’t know, Finding Nemo. Then I actually try to write a story in which no one dies and I start watching Law and Order: SVU like it’s crack on screen. (Actually, that’s basically what Law and Order is.)

The truth is, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t even like Midnight Blue so much. But I deprived myself of gore almost the entire time of writing the rom. com., and finally I lost it. I know I’ll get through this phase, but right now all I want to do is write about people bleeding. I can’t even come up with plot to go with that.

The Writing Week part 16

This week's been a big one for the League. But, since most of what’s noteworthy happened well outside the confines of my pages, not much of it will be related now.

I guess it’s worth mentioning that I got to page sixty, which is 2/3 of what I’m targeting. I’ve thought of this current script, the mysterious Screenplay X as a 90 pager from day one. I still really like the idea, but I don’t think it’s one that needs to hit that less and less common two hour mark. So, I’m two thirds of the way done, and I still haven’t outlined at all, save for maybe a few notes here and there, which I type directly onto the page and then delete as they become obsolete.

I haven’t worked this way in a long time, and while I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, there are certain drawbacks to it. Mostly, I’m writing much slower. I can typically bang out about five pages an hour, if I know what I’m writing. Nowadays, with this script being done this way, I’m getting maybe three. That’s not a bad thing, and it keeps me thinking much more about what I’m putting on the page, about every single line. I’ve never thought quite as hard about each word of dialogue as I am doing now, so that’s been a learning experience.

And, that brings me to the second drawback, of sorts. The dialogue. I’m pretty sure that, structurally, the script is about where it would be if I was outlining. This scene set in X location at this point in the script, followed by these other characters in Y location. I’m doing that. But it’s the content of the scenes that’s not as firm as perhaps it would be if I had outlined. Partly, that’s because I still don’t know where Act 2 ends. (Page-wise, it’ll be about 75. But I mean plot-wise. I don’t know what the tent-pole scene is that supports the script at the end of Act 2.) I don’t fully know what ought to be happening in some scenes, which is making future scenes weaker or repetitive. I could be wrong, but I’ll probably have to read through it and do some re-writes before the League sees it. Eitehr way, I guess I’ll find out soon enough. Going at this rate, and with any luck, I’ll FADE OUT in ten days.

I do still like where the script is going, and it actually developed into something more recently. I found a newer, deeper meaning, and a tangible connection I can make within it to a pre-existing work; a poem, actually. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it—I actually think I might have allowed it to feel too much about the poem right now—but it was a discovery I had no intention of making. Like penicillin.