Monday, June 21, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 129 - Pen and Paper, When Tried is True for a Reason

I gave myself a week off. Friday marked a week since I sent the most recent version of my script into the production company that we're working with. (I just heard from my manager today that we're hoping to get notes by end of day tomorrow - and we're hoping the notes are little more than very minor tweaks and finesses.) Any one out there could easily argue that waiting a week before writing again - especially at a time when we're hoping I'll have to go to LA and take meetings soon - is incredibly bad planning. I won't argue with you there. However, I was feeling a little bit like I was running on fumes, and I was having a difficult time cracking the new project open. So, I took a week off.

On Saturday, I started actively writing down ideas for the new script (let's call it the "firefighter script" here on out). Sure, I'd jotted things down here and there, but that was the start of blocking out the time and really making myself work on the new idea. Sunday followed with more work, including a few revelations that helped really crack the thing open. Then today, I spend five hours on a bus heading back down to Arlington, Virginia. In between naps (more than I should probably have taken), I got more work done. The general story arc is slowly starting to congeal; I have a fairly stable foundation for each act and where many of the big beats fall. Soon, it'll be time to put all this down on the computer and get it out to the manager. But not yet.

I'm constantly going back and forth on the merits of writing on the computer versus with pen and paper. Recently, though, I find it increasingly satisfying (and easier) to begin outlining on a notepad, where no blinking cursor can remind me that I'm not putting new material down. To avoid that nagging reminder, I find myself re-typing the same info over and over again - everything I already know being put down in my notes with little or no actual progress coming with it. Pen and paper, though, is so basic. It doesn't actively remind you that another word should follow. Yes, the page remains blank until you fill it, but it's patient. It allows you to work  through your ideas as they come. And when they do come, it's glorious.

One more day with the notebook - I think that's my goal. Maybe by the end of tomorrow I'll open Word and try to make that cursor blink as little as possible. Until then, though, I'm doing just fine without it.

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