Tag Archives: discipline

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

Our weary screenwriter sits at her L-shaped desk, her ever faithful cat, Bones, curled up on the floor near her. She opens up her laptop and starts up her MovieMagic screenwriting program.

She skims, only for a few seconds, the previous pages she’s written. Satisfied that she’s caught up, she cracks her knuckles, places her fingers on the keyboard like a pianist ready for rehearsal to start, and tap tap taps away.

Two pages later, she realizes – the opening is too long.

She pushes back from her laptop and leans back in her chair, stares at the last things she’s written, and decides…she must blog about it.

FADE OUT

Listen, we all know that writing is rewriting. I’m also aware that it’s probably not the best idea ever to rewrite as I go along. The more I look at this screenplay the more I realize…this opening doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. It’s taking way too long to get to the story. I’m at page 10, and I should be at the moment THE BIG THING happens that brings us into the premise.

I really have to decide at this moment. Scrap it and start over? Create a better outline? Or, do I keep going along and do what I’m supposed to do later which would be rewrite it to fix things?

 

 

 

 

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Casting…

Sometimes it seems as though roles taken on by actors were made especially for them. Marlon Brando in The Godfather, Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, etc. etc. etc.

When I’m writing, it helps to imagine who I would cast in the roles of my screenplay. I don’t have any knowledge of the above actors being thought of by the screenwriter when the ideas came forth (The Godfather was a book, so I doubt it there. I don’t have enough off-hand knowledge of the others at this point in time to know otherwise).

I’m currently working on an LGBTQ rom-com. A story that’s been in my mind for quite some time (I’m pretty sure if we go to the way-back machine on this blog of mine you could find somewhere else I’ve spoken about it). What’s been incredibly helpful is casting it in my mind. Not every single character, mind you. Just the ones that are driving the A story and the B story.

The funny thing is, my main character for the B story stands out more vivid in my mind and it is going to help me so much in developing this characters voice and style within the story. I can only hope that one day I could have this person star in the future movie that I’m writing! I know I’ll never utter a word about who I’d want in the roles if and when I ever get the chance to pitch this script.

I can share these choices with you.

The leads:

A Story – Samira Wiley and Ellen Page

B Story – Kristen Wiig and Shiloh Fernandez

I have pictures of them saved in a folder that’s titled after this script. This way I can reference them from time to time to really fully imagine them. Wiig’s character is the one giving me the most as I can easily picture the character and her mannerisms in Wiig’s skin.

I could also easily see Wiig’s character running away with the story. So much so, that I’ve thought of re-working the original premise slightly to fit that character’s story. I’m just not so sure it’s 100% a great idea to that.

So, I’m going to plug away with the version in my head that is aching to get out!

 

 

 

INT. OFFICE – MORNING…NIGHT…AFTERNOON?

I always see little blurbs about writing habits. Habits like getting up early to write before the day really starts or staying up late, etc. I hear stories about successful scripts being written during breaks at work and I think… WHY can’t that be me?

I’ll tell you why. The one big thing holding me back. Well, maybe more than one thing.

I don’t have a habit. I don’t have discipline. That’s what 2017’s theme for me should be. DISCIPLINE. I need to be disciplined. I need to create a habit. I need to set aside a non-negotiable time to write. Perhaps even a daily non-negotiable set of pages that must be completed before I can say, “It’s time for bed.”

I need to look at writing this script as a part-time job. I have time to write…I’m just not utilizing it. I used to work a full-time gig, a part-time gig, and work on getting my degree online. I no longer work that part-time gig. I definitely have time. Soooooooo?

Here’s to committing to getting up at 7am and not hitting snooze. Here’s to firing up the keurig while I’m starting up the laptop by 7:03am. Here’s to sitting down in the beautiful office my fiancee helped make a reality by 7:05am. Here’s to writing the first pages of my new script starting tomorrow.

2017 – The Year of Committing to Disciplined Habits (if that makes any sense!)