Monday, March 16, 2009

The Writing Week (Vol. 2) part 63 - All the Little Things

Things add up. That's one of the things I love most about writing. What's the saying, "the truth is in the details?" For me, the joy is in the details, the little details that on their own, mean little or nothing, but together, can be monumental. This week wasn't "productive" by page count standards. But I'd still consider it one of the more productive weeks I've had this year.

Not to jinx myself (knock on wood, spin three times in a circle, and cross my fingers), but I've recently found myself quite busy. I finished a draft of the Roman-army spec recently, and have to tackle the re-writes for that, since I have a friend at a reputable production company who wants to read it. That same friend also read my post-Apocalyptic spec and really likes it. With a little work, she thinks it could actually go somewhere. And, finally, I had a chance encounter with someone who knows a producer looking for big budget comedies. I happened to have an idea for a comedy (and little more than that at the time), so I emailed the producer who said he'd call when he's back in town. Top it off with an enthusiastic call I had from a family friend whose daughter is a producer and who screens material submitted to her, and it was a good busy week.

Now, I know that any or all of this could fall through at a moment's notice (or without notice, really). I also know that a lot of people would have considered it foolish to email a producer about a film that was nothing more than a basic idea, which ended when the logline stopped. On the flip side, I know that this is a business where every little thing counts, and every opportunity has to be taken advantage of, especially at the beginning of someone's career. Sort of the "leave no stone unturned" approach to breaking in. As new writers, we have to adopt that philosophy. Plenty of scripts are purchased when they're still just ideas; if you ask me, if you have a chance to take an idea somewhere (as long as you can and will develop it), do so. I even know of instances where people send queries about projects they haven't even begun working on just to judge interest in them. I don't know if I'd go so far as to support that, but I do think it's worth pursuing any lead you have.

The "little things" like these, leads and chance encounters that haven't born fruit yet, but can maybe turn into something, are just another part of writing. I'm sure we can all cite examples of a time when a little breakthrough (a character's motivation in this scene, a line of dialogue that makes something work, a sub-plot ironed out) might seem insignificant to anyone else, but to you, are huge, productive, commendable accomplishments. I hope I'm not jinxing myself (my writing-related superstition is massive) when I say that I'm riding high and hopeful off of these little things this week.

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