20 pages…100 more to go!

March 28, 2008

I spoke to a buddy of mine out in LA who is writing a script. We talked about the writing process and how easy it is to get distracted from writing. (Distractions like talking about how hard it is to write or blogging…)

Syd Field’s book is great because it talks about common roadblocks that writers come across and how they begin to doubt themselves like crazy. Before I read this book, I had a reading of my screenplay and my script was simply awful. I had no concept of structure or plot or anything. It was a bunch of half baked ideas randomly thrown together. I felt that I definitely could never write a feature because I was not qualified. Field’s sentiment is that everyone goes through that feeling. And that’s usually when people have strong feelings of self doubt (check) and feel they must bring on a writing partner because they are stuck (double check).

His theory is that if you are stuck, don’t continue to plow through the writing without addressing the nagging feeling that something doesn’t work. Rather, examine what doesn’t flow and work with it. Go back and examine what the character wants, why they are there, how they feel, what happened in the past and explore the specific details.

I went to Starbucks, had a tall soy creamer and wrote for two hours straight. I have 20 pages so far, and it’s very exciting. Instead of frantic scenes thrown together, it flows and makes sense.

Also, other story lines and relationships that I hadn’t even thought of are really coming along nicely as well. For the first time in a long time I like what’s going on.

One Response to “20 pages…100 more to go!”

  1. forgewrite Says:

    Thanks for the post, it was great.

    I find that me and my writing mates have a similar experience (well sort of).

    When ever we have a problem or an itch that says “this is not working”. We have a simple process. We say to ourselves “this isn’t working, let’s play with it.”

    We then go through an hour or two of the weirdest, craziest ideas we can think of. The more off the wall the better. Each off the wall idea comes with a simple reaction. “That will never work because…”. Eventually we throw out an idea that comes with a different response. Something like “wait… um… ah… uh… em… maybe that will work.”

    We go from there. We play with the new idea and see what we come up with.

    Now, that I think about it, I don’t know if our methods are similar. However, maybe it’s the soy creamer. I don’t know.

    Thanks for the blog, it’s great!


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