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Thursday, June 22, 2006

14 Days + 1 Willing Writer = 1 Movie Script. Umm...

Confession time: I failed.

That's true in as much as I hit the deadline last week and was not faced with a completed feature-length script. I pushed myself and made it to page 76, but couldn't quite find those last few hours of what happened to be the busiest 14 days of my year so far to get it done. That's not to say that I didn't try. My partner Amy's loneliness during those two weeks is proof of that. I wish to extend my thanks to her for her unflinching support, as ever.

So, even though I might have fallen short of the ultimate goal of the two weeks I learned a lot about myself and my writing.

Here they are in quick bullet-point format:

  • My fingers still type after eight hours at my desk... just VERY SLOWLY.
  • My brain, however, does all its best thinking before the four hour mark.
  • I can push through the "Can't-I-do-something-else" reflex that occurs after about 45 minutes and it becomes "How-long-can-I-keep-going"... at least it does on the good days.
  • Jasmine Green Tea is perfect to fill in the gaps in quality thought. I drunk LOTS!
  • Contrary to the belief of one Homer J. Simpson, if something's hard to do it IS worth doing.
My writing:
  • Having just the point of the scene (what you want to achieve) in mind gives your innate sense of story the room to explore its execution.
  • Dialogue writes itself - most of the time - and is often the least important part of a scene.
  • Let the characters do what they will, occasionally guiding them in the direction you wish to go.
  • Embrace change. Do not work against it.
  • There is NO substitute for time.
I'm pleased with what I've learned through this process and with what I've achieved. Having now just got over the second script-killing plot-hole I suspect another week to ten days of hard work and I'll have a finished first draft to tidy up and chalk up to experience if nothing else.

Thanks to Anthony and everyone over at 14 Day Screenplay. The next one's scheduled for October so I'd encourage anyone who didn't do it this time to seriously consider it. If nothing else, at least you might discover the depth of your love for hot brewed beverages.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where would we be without our women. Sometimes it's hard when we're writing to make sure we give them attention too, but we'd be lost without them.

Glad you gave it a shot James and I hop everything goes really well for you.


9:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

76 pages in two weeks is still pretty damn impressive! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this challenge - will have to register for the next round!

12:42 AM


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