Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quantity is Job 1

I did no writing tonight. Wednesday night is when I have the most paperwork and other crap to deal with at work, so I busied myself with that and then gave myself the last two hours to blog instead.

However, after another 4ish hours last night, I have 50 pages on the script (now tentatively titled The Other Woman), averaging close to 5 per hour. It would be more, but I stuck myself in a bit of a plot rut last night and took about an hour to decide what I was going to do.

But I got back on the horse, and the thing is progressing nicely.

I'm already starting to get ideas about the rewrite for it. Like, I'm pretty sure that the main character hasn't been set up helpless enough. Too late now, but it'll have to be done at some point.

I've also been trying to come up with ideas for the next project. And today I realized, I have a great idea that I've been ignoring for a while.

And that is mostly because I already wrote it once.

That's right my friends, the first script I ever wrote still languishes in rough draft form on a lonely hard drive. I didn't rewrite it because I was much dumber back then and couldn't think how to go about it.

But the premise was great. I still remember that premise, and it was pretty suave (I think). And now I feel I've grown enough as a writer that I could start to do it justice.

So I'm going to read it tonight and try to get a feel for what needs to be done. It may actually turn out to be a page one. But that's okay.

I also have another idea that I started to write before I had the good sense to realize I didn't have a strong enough plot. I'm not sure the hook for that one was good enough, but we'll see when I re-read that one.

Anyway, should be fun figuring out where to go next. Makes me excited, like the little girl that I am inside.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm All Talk

Some writers are all talk. They say they're writers. They say they're working on something. But when it comes right down to it, you start to notice after a while that they haven't actually produced any work in quite some time.

There are times when I'm one of these writers. But now is not one of those times.

Right now is draft time, baby!

Ah, draft time. Truly 'tis a wonderful season in the writer's life, when the desert of planning and research and note-taking is finally crossed and the thirsty writer arrives at the oasis of putting pen to paper, or as times have it, fingers to keyboard.

But, to get back to what I was saying, the way in which I am "all talk" is not the way I have just described.

No, what I'm referring to is the nature of my current writing.

I felt pretty proud of myself this time around because I spent many hours planning and doing character development, so that by the time I actually got to the plot, I felt pretty grounded in my characters.

So when I did my outline, I put in several scenes in which I knew that the characters would talk at length to each other. I even knew (sometimes) how their conversations would end. But I didn't plan the actual content of those conversations.

Robert Rodriguez once asked Quentin Tarantino how he got such good dialogue, and Quentin said, "I just start two characters talking, and even I'm surprised by what they say."

This is the method I am attempting for the current project.

I just finished writing the conversation right before the break into act two, and it was pretty fun. There will be many more like it, where I just sit some characters down and see what comes out of their mouths.

Then I'll read it later and find out that all the dialogue needs to be rewritten.

Well, we'll see.

As a final, semi-related note, I've been working on this script for 6.5 hours.

And I have 27 pages. What is that? A little over four pages an hour, average. Not too great, but not too shabby.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Draft Time, Baby!

So after not a few weeks of sitting around and thinking (see previous post), I finally thought I had a plot for the "Polygamy" script. I proudly packed my little notecards together and went off to a meeting with Greg, ready to pitch the hell out of the thing.

I pitched. For twenty-five long minutes I pitched.

Greg interjected. He made suggestions. He had thoughts.

I got to the end. He didn't like it. I didn't like it.

I saw it coming. I really did. I knew when I wrote the beat card for the climax that it just didn't feel climactic.

Greg and I both blanked on how to deal with it. One meeting and a whole weekend later, neither of us had any solutions.

Then, early Wednesday morning, I'm at work. More sitting and thinking. And it hits me.

I solved it. I called Greg, mere hours before he was to fly out to LA (this is how I steal time from people). He agreed. The ending works.

And how did I solve it?

The main characters of the story meet two people at the third act break. First a wife, then her husband.

I switched the order. They meet the husband, then the wife.

And now it works.

Stories are weird.

Anyway, it's draft time now, and this is where the crazy third-shift job really works for me. Wednesday night isn't the best. There's lots of work to do around the house. But I still managed to squeeze in two hours of productivity, and I got eight pages out of that. Tomorrow, should get at least six hours of writing, and we'll see where that takes me.

I'm back, baby!

Monday, August 07, 2006


You think that I'm a huge blog-slacker, but I tell you that what I really am is just a plain old slacker. I haven't blogged because I haven't done anything.

I've sat around and thought.

I've made a couple notes.

I talked to Greg over the phone.

But that's it.

Got some notes from Blair about the draft I finished two months ago. If I can get some notes out of Greg about it, maybe I'll go back to that.

I finished my preliminary character development for what I'm calling the "Polygamy" script (see above sitting around and thinking). I'm just starting to plot it out. I might have been further along, but it's been an absolutely insane week at work. Don't get me started.

Tomorrow, meeting with Greg again, now that he's dragged himself back into town. Maybe something productive will come of that.

And I'll get something done. Or pretend to get something done. If so, I'll post more.

But don't get your hopes up too high.