Return from the Grave

July 8, 2009

So it’s been three months …

I didn’t finish ScriptFrenzy.  That was back in April.  I needed to get seriously ahead in order to make that work, and … I … uh …didn’t do it.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.  Out of 12,500 writers, 190,000 pages got written, which is roughly 1,500 scripts.  So I’m in good company.

But I got a good start, though.

And I’ll be working on a novel in November, which is NaNoWriMo.

And I’ll make sure not to schedule anything for myself in the month of April next year, so I can actually set myself up to win.

I think that’s a big thing.  Set yourself up to win.  I don’t exercise as much as I’d like, because I haven’t set up my environment to call me to exercise.  When I trained for the marathon, I had my brother counting on me to exercise with him 5 days a week.  With something like that going on, you can’t help but succeed.  Well, maybe you can, but your odds go up.

Anyway, I’m back.  It’s good to be back.


Writing in a Group

April 11, 2009

It’s funny … you sit down … chat for about an hour and a half … get nothing done … and then spend an hour and a half slamming out some of your most productive work, yet.

I feel like I should always be writing in a group.

New Strategies for Filling Space

April 9, 2009

After a few days of struggling, and a few days of celebrating whenever I completed 8 lines of eloquent prose, I’ve come up with a few solutions for filling my page count every day.

1. Write the worst 4 pages I possibly can.  When you’re not trying to make it good, you can make it flow much, much quicker.

2. Jump around. Instead of trying to write it in linear fashion, I’ve been writing the scenes I know need to be in there, and then filling in the gaps.

The combination of these two strategies has me up to 25 pages so far.  According to Script Frenzy’s timetable, I should be at 30 pages by the end of the night tonight.  I’m sitting here at a “write-in” at Genuine Joe’s, a coffee shop in Austin, with two other people who are also on page 25.  I don’t know if I’ll get to 30, but at least I’m close.

Blips and Hiccups

April 6, 2009

It seems that writing a script in a month is not without its challenges …

It was smooth sailing to start, writing 5 pages the first day and 3 the second to keep on track with my 4-pages-a-day goal.  But then I spent Friday busting my ass in every direction except this one.  I was finally able to find the time to squeeze one page out before leaving for an evening commitment, which then turned into the questionable decision to play poker until 4:30 in the morning, which turned into sleeping until about noon.

I spent the rest of Saturday trying to catch up, before my head finally exploded and I had to take a break.  And then late that night I received an e-mail from my dad, with comments and suggestions that made me realize I have to gut 4 pages of exposition.

So what now?  I made it to 16 2/3 pages last night, which is officially on track for 100 pages by the end of April, and I’m determined to find a way to finish all my other commitments and make it to 20 pages by the end of today.  But a massive chunk of it will have to be destroyed, and in the mean time I’ve got a massive gap from April 17th-19th when I won’t be able to write anything, and that really scares me.

I suppose part of the reason I was shooting for 4 pages a day instead of 3 1/3 is to account for these blips and hiccups.  But yikes … right now, writing even 1 page seems like it might take all day.

Writing on a Timeline

April 2, 2009

I’m doing this thing called Script Frenzy right now.  It’s like the MS150 for writers – this massive support group, where everyone gets together and writes an entire script (or graphic novel or something else) in the month of April.  By my calculations, I have to write 4 pages a day.  That’ll give me 120 pages total, or 100 pages with a few days when I don’t get it all in.

So Charisma is on hold while I hammer this out, not having any idea what I’m doing, really.  I knew going into it I wanted to do my adaptation of “The Tell Tale Heart,” but what I didn’t know was how.  It’s a five page story, and somehow I have to create an entire world of plot and character and intrigue.  Someone at the table suggested I start with the bricks being delivered.  I’m like, “Bricks?  Are you thinking of the ‘Cask of Amontillado?'”  He’s like, “Oh, yeah.”  But that gave me the entire premise … the story starts with a 5-minute scene in which Montresor walls up Fortunato inside his wine cellar.  So you’ve already got that this guy is a sociopath.  So then the rest of the story becomes about him trying not to kill the old man, who is a friend of his childhood love interest.  But he can’t help himself, and then has to deal with that.

So I hammered out the Beat Sheet on Tuesday night, basically finishing it at 1 am.  I still don’t know what I’m doing with my third act to raise the stakes, but at least I’m off to the races and I’m not going in blind. Today is Day 2, and I’m already 8 pages into my script, which pretty damn satisfying, considering all I had 36 hours ago was an idea.

Stay tuned for more.

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