A sometimes half-arsed record of the process of writing in its' variegated many forms.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

On the straightforward tip

I have claimed that this blog is supposed to be about the process of writing, ergo the title: access the process. So far we've been short of the mark on that front, but I'm getting to it. I wanted to get in a little background on what the progression has been for me, and how I've come to this place that I am now, which is no where in particular to be precise. Regardless, in keeping with the feel of the blogform, I've been a little discordant in my approach.
So, I just wanted to get down to it for a quick minute on a project that I was was moving on this weekend a little bit. I'm working on two projects right now. One is a memoir and the other is a screenplay. I think I mentioned that in an earlier post, but whatever. Moving forward, last night I was reading a bunch of screenplays. Actually I was reading American Splendor, Boogie Nights, and The Kingdom. A seemingly pretty random grouping, but the connecting factor is that they all can be found at the Internet Movie Script DataBase, which is a wonderful, if highly incomplete companion to the IMDB. One really interesting aspect of the imsdb is that many times you find early drafts of scripts, so you can see how the script was reworked if you watch the movie. Just as a quick example because I'm totally getting away from myself here, the script for American Splendor that's up there has some substantial rearranging in the final film. Check it out for yrself. Anyway, the point of all that was that I was trying to get some mojo going on my own screenplay. It has been stalled essentially since I saw Juno a couple of weeks ago and found it so ridiculously witty that my own writing seemed dull and lifeless: a truism, no doubt.
I'm trying to get some juice for the second act, which in my screenplay is a kind of mini-movie in the sense that it's the only act that has much in the way of a structured narrative plot. I'll explain this all in great detail at some later date. For now, let it suffice to say that my screenplay is a little wierd. Here again we're getting sidetracked, and I do have a writing proficiency exam tomorrow, so I'll try and get to the heart of it. The problem in essence was that I had a vague narrative outline, but I didn't have the specific scenes set up. The whole plot moves forward through conversation, but I needed to establish beforehand who had conversations with whom and when in order to move forward. So I had a few cocktails, and the whole thing got away from me. It was a little more complicated than that, and I actually did get some slightly useful stuff. Still I haven't really got a handle on this middle act since the first act was really a kind of Slacker-like wandering through the lives of people who habit this coffee shop.
I'll try and sit down this week with it and flush the thing out because I'm actually very immersed in this project, and I'm not totally unsatisfied either, although there is some editorial work to be done for sure. Anyway, that was all still pretty vague and useless. I'll try and get down to The Show at some near future moment, but for right now, it's just all too much.

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