Monday, September 13, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 141 - Positive Response from Agents and A New Approach to Writing

Three weeks ago, my post-Apocalyptic spec went out to a handful of agents at some of the largest agencies. Two weeks ago, all I knew was that one had passed. My manager didn't expect to hear much until after Labor Day, as most people were out of town for the end of the summer then. Last week, as expected, we got word from the other two we went out to initially.

I was thrilled to hear that both responses were quite positive. While I can't say who or where (though obviously I know both), I can say that these are agents at companies that any emerging writer would love to wind up at. If anything, they could be considered too big - in the sense that they would have other clients earning more and therefore more "important" right now - but that doesn't seem to be a concern in either case. The agents have teams working with them, and it's likely that there would be a few people handling the material. Of the two, we're still waiting to hear from one who liked the script, but recently signed a client writing similar work (which could be a conflict of interest). Either way, two people interested in the work and a few others we're hoping to hear from this week - some of which have La and NYC offices, which could be really nice. 

As the post-Apocalyptic spec slowly moves along, I've been getting further into the firefighter one, as well. It's been an interesting writing process for me, unique in many ways. I almost immediately cast my outline aside. Sure, I still open it each day and work by it - loosely - but it's definitely not guiding my daily writing. Rather, each day I sit down to the computer (which regrettably was not every day this week), I find myself carefully crafting the day's scene(s), unsure exactly what will come up in the action or dialogue. It's a much more painstaking process than I'm used to. Normally, I can produce 4 to 5 pages per hour-long writing session; with this script, my average has dropped to somewhere around 3. I'm not complaining by any means. At the same time, though, I can't say if that change in pace and approach is affecting me positively or negatively or differently at all. Nor am I sure quite where the change from. 

Last Thursday, I reviewed Richard Walter's Essentials of Screenwriting. Perhaps the lessons emphasized in that book are governing the new writing tactics. Maybe I'm subconsciously working from a place where I'm reminded of all the re-writes I had to do on the post-Apocalyptic spec and am trying to preempt them by being more careful in my first draft. Maybe it's a combination of both. Maybe it's neither. Either way, I'm eager to see how the draft turns out. It feels much more like I'm crafting a story now, fitting the puzzle together while at the same time allowing it to evolve as it needs to, as it organically should. I like it. I'm slower now, but hopefully, even if this draft isn't solid, this new method will prove to be.