Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. – Doris Lessing

Go forth into the unknown, explore the caves of your unconscious, fear not your “dark side,” find the gold.

— Robin Hoffman (@AuthorAlchemy)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Choices, Choices!

This may be a formality, because I think I've already made my decision. But it doesn't hurt to explore the possibilities in writing.

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 comedy
Social drama/romance/maybe a thriller
Romance/dramedy (such an ugly word)
I'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.

#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


LIKE TO LEAVE A COMMENT? I've just installed IntenseDebate comment system and now the comment link has disappeared. Grrr. But you can get to the comment section for this post by scrolling up and clicking on the post title. Apologies for the inconvenience.