I'd rather fade out than burn away

Not 30 seconds ago I typed FADE OUT. Then I had to go check the proper formatting. It's the first time I've ever written it.

I just finished the first draft of my first-ever screenplay. I thought I'd feel triumphant, or proud, or at least relieved, but I just feel like it's any other day.

For a start, it's just not very good. Yet. My characters are weak. The story doesn't spin and crescendo the way it should. And I suspect there's a huge hole in the third act where my final big moment should be.

Yeah, I have some work to do. Good thing I'm the queen of rewrites. I actually like rewriting better than writing. When I write, I find I don't have the patience for crafting - I just want to get it all out onto paper. It's in the rewrite where my creativity comes alive.

At least that's how it is when I write other things - things for the man who magically fills my bank account with little ones and zeros (mostly zeros these days). I guess I'll see soon if I am also the queen of re-screenwrites.

I also have a zillion other ideas buzzing in my head. One in particular has been buzzing most insistently these past few weeks. It's going to take a lot of research and a huge amount of careful structuring to get it right.

If anything, I don't feel like I've finished something, I feel like I'm just getting started.

And that's gotta be good, right?

Slacker excuses:
I had a two-hour nap today. For research. I swear.


Like rap from Eminem

Ever worry that it all seems too easy?

I know, I know, I'm going to be universally hated (by the three people that read this - hi Mom!) if I start banging on about how easy screenwriting is. But some days, some weeks even, words are just not a problem.

Can it be any good if each word isn't pure sweet agony?

Surely even writers like Charlie Kaufman, who is sweaty and tortured (in Adaptation), must have days when words pour out of them like flies from compost – if flies from compost were an outrageously beautiful and desirable thing.

Those days when whole scenes appear on the page fully formed, I catch myself thinking I must be doing something wrong. And then I remember the section in my third act (almost upon me) that is little more than a light-sucking black hole into which my characters are being pulled, limb by limb, and I know that agony will return.

So I'm letting myself enjoy the unrestricted flow while I can and remembering that this writing thing can actually be fun. Plus, if it all turns out to be dross, I'll nail it in the dark days of angst-ridden rewrites.

Slacker excuses:
Free screenings courtesy of Creative Screenwriting Mag and others. I saw Super Bad last night. Super hilarious. Go Seth Rogen!


Dullest rollercoaster ever.

Why do so many screenwriters have blogs?

I mean, it's not exactly life or death stuff here.

You sit at a desk and think "I'm great" "I'm terrible" "I'm wonderful" "I'm hopeless" in a never-ending cycle of triumph and despair.

Oh, just like real life. Now I get it.

Slacker excuses:
God, the weather in LA is so beautiful, who can sit inside and type?


At the North Col, low on O2

It was all going so well. It really was. Then everything. Stopped.

My second act is gnawing at the inside of my brain, like tiny mice on a lump of moldy cheese. Is it really set up right? Will it capture the attention of an audience? Is anybody going to care what happens to these characters?

I know exactly what happened. The second scene of my second act was supposed to be a showstopper. Fun. Funny. Action-packed. An exciting harbinger of things to come.

Instead it's just flat. Dull. Boring. Lacklustre. Unshiny. Boooo.

So for the last week, instead of writing whatever comes next, I've been rolling this one scene over in my mind, trying to elevate it to the lofty place I imagined. I'm so far away from that goal... the scene is at base camp, I want it to summit. Damn, I'm gonna need more oxygen.

Of course this leads to all kinds of new questions. Like: Why should I bother? What's so great about being a screenwriter anyway? Do I even have what it takes? Maybe I should go watch TV instead?

Which is why I love the internet. What would I do without the other writers out there sharing their doubts and torments?

Mr Man Bytes Hollywood and his faithful commentors have given me a boost. As has Ms Bootstrap. So go have a look and then get back to work.

And all you bloggers out there, keep writing... so I can keep writing!

Slacker excuses:
My Mom came to visit. We ate, we shopped, we conquered. (I bought some new comfy writing clothes from Lululemon. Hurrah.)