Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

June 4, 2008 – New Writing Technique

June 5, 2008

Today I took the train in to Manhattan and during the commute decided to put the order of my script on index cards. Every transition I would be able to physically see rather than try to recall what happened by thumbing through my script. I got this tip from Ben Affleck talking about writing Gone Baby Gone. What often puts me in a muddle is trying to figure out what happens where and figuring out how it all fits together. It’s enough to make me want to clip my nails, pluck my eyebrows, wash dishes or do anything to avoid having to deal with it.

I met with my dearest friend R for lunch and then headed to my brother’s graduation at Radio City Music Hall. It was almost three hours and by the end of it, I had to get out before everyone left. Sitting in the chair while pregnant was quite painful. The highlight were the CEO of the A&E channel and Chris Matthews of Hardball. The both stressed the importance of sticking with things and being absolutely tenacious with whatever your passion was. They offered personal and stories of their humble beginnings and how they “made it”. The female CEO of A&E described herself as a girl from Queens and Chris Matthews said his first job was as a Capitol cop so he might infiltrate Washington’s “in” group.

Apparently some people think Chris Matthews is a jerk, I’m not sure because I haven’t seen him in action. But what I do know is that I liked what he had to say today. I hope I can find that speech on YouTube.

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My inability to live with stillness…

March 31, 2008

Writing was a bit challenging today. I wrote for an hour, but I’m not sure where the character is going.

I decided I’m going to take a screenwriting class. I feel that being around other writers would be very helpful for me. In a few months (with the hopeful arrival of the little one…) I won’t be able to do as much writing as I can. I don’t want to fritter time away in my office by myself when I get stuck. I want to use this precious time I have to create fruitful work. Plus, the consistency will be good for me.

I met with my career coach today who steered me in the right direction in terms of perceiving what’s happening in my career. One week I’ll be auditioning for a network television show, the next I’m sitting around, depressed, on my couch wondering what to do with my life. I realized that without a full time job, the lulls of non-activity are really unsettling for me. Being able to focus solely on my acting career can be scary without the constant whir of motion…even if that motion is counterproductive. One of the major benefits of being pregnant (thank you, unborn child) is that I can only focus on one thing at a time. Physically I don’t have the energy.

After the feature and two shorts are wrapped up, I told my coach that in 2009 I wanted to put up a one-woman show. Surprisingly my coach was super psyched with that idea and, as it turns out, is an expert on one person shows. Winning various awards three years in a row at the New York Fringe Festival, teaching at Second City in Chicago and helping others launch their one-person shows nationally and internationally. I was a bit shy about the endeavor but now I’m quite excited about it.

Later in the day, I spoke with my best bud from high school who has THREE children. She was telling me inane jokes that she found through email. Usually I hate them but for some reason coming from her they struck me as funny. 

I find talking to my friends who have kids keeps me a bit sane. Especially in understanding how physically uncomfortable I can get sometimes. You can’t really explain it, it just is and they get it. Even if our loving husbands don’t.

Just got a call from a really cool casting director at ABC to be a reader for some auditions tomorrow. I love being there and seeing those guys. They are a compassionate group of people who care about actors.

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.

12th Week

March 17, 2008

I’m grateful to make it to the 12 week milestone and hope things will continue going well. Yesterday was not a good day, I spent most of it in bed and on the couch. But I’m slowly getting better and better.I decided I’m going to apply to a film festival for a writer’s lab. The deadline is May so that gives me plenty of time for the re-write of my feature if I really put my mind to it.Unless I book the big job this week, I hope to use the month of April to re-write my script and send it off.