It's time to start script #2. Script #1 has been revised nine times, been through coverage and put to the test by Your Screenplay Sucks! My treatment for script #1 is with a producer's reader—who may or may not like it and may or may not want to see the actual script.
Exciting though that is, script #1 is no longer my baby. Script #1 has grown up enough to be out in the world showing its pimples. Empty nest syndrome? Not really. I've been too busy having a treatment blitz.
This afternoon I finished writing another treatment. I'm now in the glorious position of having five treatments to choose from. Five stories. And all of great interest to me. Here are the genres:
Coming-of-age/romantic comedyI'm leaning toward #5 on the list, the one I just finished. Partly because I'm really into that story right now, and partly because I think it would be the easiest to write. By far. I have abundant material for it staring me in the face, with new material being created every day. It's a fun subject and one I know intimately from personal experience. It's a story I believe many couples will relate to, so that will help me feel I'm writing it for myself (as a movie I'd love to see) as well as friends I can visualize watching it while they laugh and cry in recognition.
Social drama/romance/maybe a thriller
Romance/dramedy (such an ugly word)
#1 on the list would also be relatively easy to write. Easy is good right now. I'm looking to capitalize on things I learned and proved to myself as I wrote the first draft for script #1. I wrote that one in 29 days, including a week spent on writer's block because I was inexperienced about how to get through Act III. (That dreaded moment when you realize Act III AND your ending will be wimpy unless you can pull off something a bit juicier than what you first thunk up.) This time around, I'll know exactly what to do if I hit a bout of writer's block in Act III.
(See Related Topics at the end if you want to know how I worked through it.)
#2 from the list above comes with some mental blocks. For this one I'll be adapting one of my own short stories. I already had a go at starting this script and it didn't feel right. I need a strategy or some extra knowledge about how to handle an adaptation. #2 gets ruled out as being a little too complex right now. I'd like to build confidence writing several more scripts first.
#3 is complicated, too, because of the perceived need to stretch it into a thriller. Thriller is not my favorite genre but, given the nature of this story (based on true events), I'm not sure I'd be doing it justice if I don't take it all the way to thriller. Again, that one goes on the list of things to tackle when I have more experience.
#4 is another subject I'm intimately familiar with and it would be relatively easy to write. However, the story is a little dark and I'd like to start the New Year with something really fun.
Which brings me back to #5. Guaranteed fun! Plus I already have an audience in my head that I can write for. This amounts to a variety of married friends, in particular one friend who recently shared an anecdote that would be perfect in the movie. I like the idea of having an audience of familiar faces laughing and crying and reciting their favorite lines as I write.
So there you go. This was doomed from the beginning to be a foregone conclusion. But it never hurts to double-check yourself in writing.
I'll be starting script #2 during the 10K day at Fear of Writing this Saturday 1/22/11. It feels good to have a plan!
How I Broke Through My Stalled Story in Act III
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