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Showing posts from June, 2016

Stopping Points

I don't know about you, but it's really hard for me to start writing. Once I've started, I don't really procrastinate at all - I'll take breaks I don't need, get up and stare at the fridge for no reason, but I'm usually back at my computer in like 60 seconds or less.

Before I start, though? It can be agonizing. I can't start until I know exactly where I was, exactly what should come next. If I'm in the middle of writing, and finish a scene, I can go on to the next one no problem. Starting a new scene first thing, though? Somehow that's completely different.

That's why I've started ending my writing sessions in the middle of scenes, almost (but not quite) as a rule. I think it lowers the barrier of starting again the next day when you know exactly what you're doing. It's especially helpful if it's a very actiony-scene, one where I know exactly what's going on. I can sit down, finish the action, and then just keep rolling f…

The Perils of Research

A lot of writers make jokes about if someone saw their search history after researching a story - with good reason. I've looked up stuff like how to hire a hitman, or how to build a bomb, that sort of thing.

But what I don't see talked about as much is how dangerous research can be for you mentally. I was just looking up Tibetan sky burials for Messiah, read some descriptions, then saw there was video. The video warns you "Hey, look out, graphic content," but I'd read the descriptions, and I was prepared to see some dead bodies and vultures eating them.

What I was not prepared for was the bodies being skinned before the vultures got to them. I'd missed that part of the description, and holy shit that was something. Like, it wasn't just disturbing, it was startling. I wasn't expecting it at all; I physically recoiled away from the screen. Like seriously, I get it, I'm okay with it, but I don't want to look at it.

It did not wind up in my screen…

This was a bad idea

I really shouldn't have picked a half-finished screenplay to do this to. Now I'm, like, second-guessing all my prior decisions, letting myself get confused by plot choices... I really should've finished this one on my own time, or done a page 1 rewrite, or something.

Buh. Don't mind me, just grumbling and complaining.

Reorganization

So, I just spent, like, an hour rearranging all the stuff I had for Messiah out of chronological order, and into... storyological order. Doing it definitely made me realize writing it in chronological order was a bad idea to begin with. Moving from scene to scene is an important part of writing, and when you're not writing in something like the order you're going to stick with, it's really really hard to do that well. I had to drop a handful of scenes, and I know the final draft is going to have more rewriting and reorganizing than it would've otherwise had.

On top of that, I love WriterDuet, but rearranging scenes is not a fluid process. Lots of waiting for WriterDuet to think and do what you told it to do. It got better when I switched to the offline app, but it was still frustrating.

So, my page count dropped, but this is good. It was always going to have to happen, and now it won't have to happen later in the process when I'd probably have to drop even more…

Messiah: The Work Thus Far

The logline for Messiah would be something along the lines of, "A shaman must journey to a faraway land to stop his lost disciple from setting herself up as a god."

But it's a little more complicated than can fit in a logline. The story I have is kind of time-hoppy: it follows two main plotlines separated by seven years, and several tiny stories from different times.
The first plotline is about the shaman, Kai, and his disciple, Nike, traveling from their Roman-esque culture to a Hunnic-esque culture, hunting a Witch that threatens Bekter, an old friend of Kai's. They manage to kill the witch, but at the cost of destabilizing the entire region, and a massive war breaks out. Nike is lost, presumed dead, and Kai returns home in shame.
The second plotline is about Kai and his new discipline, August, travelling back to Bekter's people after hearing news of Nike Ascending (read: turning to the dark side) and setting herself up as a god. Along the way, they conflict wi…

This Month's Screenplay

I've been decompressing from writing a first draft in a week, but now I'm a week into the month and still haven't even chosen an idea for what screenplay I'm writing this month. So I guess I need to pick something.

The simple solution is to pick from one of the treatments I've written here before, so let's go over some of my favorites:

The White Wind I did really like this idea, and I still do, but to be perfectly honest, I like it so much I'm afraid I wouldn't do it justice in three weeks. That's not a great reason not to do it, so it's still high on the list, but I am going to look at other options.

To Live For This is another idea I really like, but for whatever reason, it seems more attainable in three weeks time. It is a comedy, though, which I'm less experienced with, and a dark comedy at that, so I'd still be nervous about doing it in such a short time. Like, I know everything is going to be hurt by that, and if this is how I'm …

A Screenplay a Month

First off, I hate it when people do those "I'm back" posts, so this line is as much as you're getting.

So I heard this story (I think it's true, but who really cares) about a pottery class. The professor, as an experiment, split the class into two groups: one group would be graded at the end of the semester solely based on one pot. They could spend the entire semester working on just that one pot, making it as cool as possible.

The second group would be graded solely based on how many pots they'd made. Big or small, basic or decorated didn't matter; all that mattered was the number.

At the end of the semester, all of the best, most well designed, most intricate and most creative pots had been made by the second group. The moral of the story is kind of "practice makes perfect," but it's also kind of more than that: it's that no, really, practice makes perfect.