Saturday, January 22, 2005

Back to Work

I’m back to writing after a few days in Westchester County. Work, hotel, work, hotel.

I’m attacking the script from a different angle now. At first, because it was so plot driven, I decided that I would make an outline, then write the scenes that I wanted to write first. I would write the most exciting scenes: the ones I that inspired the script, the ones I couldn’t get out of my head. That worked at first. I would open the script and immediately I would write. The problem was that I would jump around from one of my favorite scenes to another of my favorite scenes and I ended up seeing very little progress.

Also, I kept avoiding writing certain scenes, mainly because they required a good amount of dialog. I hate to admit that dialog can be hard. To me that is essentially saying that I can’t write a screenplay. I read a quote somewhere that if you don’t know what your characters would say, you don’t know your characters. That scared me into inaction. So it was definitely time for a new plan.

Plan B: linear, forward motion. I’m stealing the writing process that I learned from Jessica Bendinger, (Bring It On) as she explained it on She called it the vomit draft. The vomit draft consists of all writing and (almost) no editing. It gets the colorful name from the fact that it ends up being crap. The benefit is that it is all written down. This was my writing style for Hearsay (my first script), although I finished the first draft before I realized it had a name.

Now, I am back to writing from beginning to end. What remains from Plan A, the outline, half-written scenes that I have so far will stay. It’s kind of reassuring to see the stuff that comes later because the scariest part of writing a plot driven movie for me was the ‘What happens next?’ factor. (That could explain also why I needed to steal the plot of a famous old play.)

I’m torn on how much of the plot to give away. I think it’s generally a bad idea to tell people about what you are doing because it builds unnecessary expectation, and possible disappointment. But if anyone ever reads this it would be better if you knew something about the script so my descriptions about writing it wouldn't seem so abstract.

A modern Hamlet in a housing project. There, I said it. Don’t tell anyone. Think somewhere between Throne of Blood and Scotland, PA. It’s about revenge, family, young love, growing up, etc. The truth is that hopefully it will be about all those things.

15 pages hoping for 90-ish.

The fact that I wrote on a Saturday makes me feel good about my motivation level. The fact that I spent more time writing this post than writing the script knocks that down a bit.

The links section as of today are my two favorite sites, but I really just wanted to learn how to add links to this site. I hope to have some thing better soon.

I am amazed that my scriptwriting software (Final Draft 5) treats swear words as misspelled words. I don’t know if this has been remedied in further versions. I can only imagine how much time is wasted in Hollywood, by telling the software to ‘learn’ each new four-letter expletive.

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