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, November 20, 2013

Can't Wait!

AFTER TWO YEARS of not posting on this blog, today I'm posting twice. And it feels good.

But the "Can't Wait!" does not refer to blogging--it's about writing my new screenplay.

After dropping screenwriting for several years (see Now Playing for reasons), I was nervous about getting back in the game. So that's what I'm making of it: a game.

Still, I want to take the proper steps for my story. So I'm using 10K Day for Writers today to write a treatment. It's going so well I can't wait to switch to Movie Magic and start the script. I can visualize chunks of description and lines of dialogue in my mind's eye and I'm itching to go put them in script format. I almost broke off from my treatment to go do that . . . but then I decided to wait.

I decided that, even though I'm writing this script purely for my own pleasure (no career ambitions are allowed to wreck my fun), I still want to take all the right baby steps. I started with a free-flow outline that included my stream-of-consciousness blah-blah-blah. Then I switched to my treatment template (see Hug a Treatment Today). And that's a good thing. The template is drawing out details that might have been missed had I jumped straight into the script.

Even if a bunch of those details don't end up in the script, it's connecting me more deeply to my story and my characters. They are telling me secrets as I go.

What a great problem to have. Restraining myself from jumping into the script. I love this feeling.

Now Playing

I GAVE UP on screenwriting for a couple of years, mainly because PTSD was affecting my experience so much it made for more struggle than enjoyment.

In March of this year I found neurofeedback. Since then I've had about 25 sessions and it has helped tremendously. I'm ready to resume my screenwriting adventures.

I'm restarting today, at the 10K Day for Writers, brainstorming a new screenplay idea.

I did a lot of prep before I got to this moment. Not writing prep but inner prep. First I reconnected with my love of screenwriting. Then I went through a whole process of refining my priorities. What it lead to when all the fat was boiled down was this: it has to be fun.

Because I've had some painful experiences of writing-laced-with-PTSD, I was gun shy. I was actually scared of reengaging with my precious writing dream in case the healing hadn't gone as deep as I thought. So I had to have the right approach. I worked on eliminating everything that might trigger any old stuff.

One thing I eliminated were the voices in my head that tell me how to do it right. Between 2007 and 2011 I read many books and blogs about screenwriting, and sadly that ended up being too much education. Raw passion for my story is where I want to be during the first draft. My rudest raspberries to those voices in my head!

Next thing I eliminated was the Big Precious Idea. I have a little notebook where I jot down screenplay ideas as they come to me. Browsing through it I can see certain ideas I would not want to screw up on; they're too important to me. So I'll save those for later.

Meanwhile, when a frivolous, verging-on-trite idea came to me recently, I recognized it as my ticket to fun.

Today I started brainstorming it and let myself go hog-wild. The idea is no longer trite, it has grown legs, and I'm really excited about it now. BUT. No interfering voices. Every time I catch myself thinking how a studio reader would not approve of some element of my story, I tell them to eff off. This is MY story. If I'm the only one who ever sees it, so be it. I'm not here to "beat" you or pander to you or try to impress you.

(Yep, you guessed it. 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader was one of the books I read.)

So hear ye, hear ye. I'm out to have some writing fun. I can even write bad dialogue if I feel like it.

Roger that!


Photo credit © Photoeuphoria | Dreamstime Stock Photos