Sunday, April 8, 2012

At the Cafe

Once again, I am amazed at how much sweeter life is when I'm writing on a project with a deadline. Unfortunately, this also involves a virtual supporting cast of thousands, i.e. Script Frenzy or National Novel Writing Month.

Wether or not these projects (six novels and two screenplays) see the light of day or not doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm writing.

Having given in and created a mild outline and/or structure for this year's script, I am very glad to be hanging on it. Even though there are already signs of the structure, once a sensible sail boat, turning into a flying pirate ship, I'm still writing about four pages a day.

Ideas and plot points are falling into my head. I'm reading about William Goldman and agreeing and feeling a little smug about his assertion that the draft, the first draft, is the best part of the script. I am a little daunted by his extensive research.

Once again I have made peace with the process which involves lots of reading of research sources as I write. It doesn't matter how much I think I already know, or how committed I am to writing what I know (so as to make things easier) I always end up writing about stuff I haven't done or know little or nothing about. The research takes extra time, expanding my writing time from an hour to sometimes three hours. Seems so inefficient. Yet without the research I can't write.

Simple things, such as what is in a cart, how foodstuffs are wrapped, whether or not tobacco was commonly available, and more complex things such as the legal obligations of a daughter to her father - need to be determined regarding the MIddle Ages before the action can continue.

I actually enjoy the research. Aside from giving me a good excuse not to write, I like learning stuff. Especially when that stuff has an immediate application.

Every year I learn this again. Some of the experience sticks from one year to the next. The motivational part: joining Script Frenzy, hosting write-ins, telling friends about my goals - all that I remember and do each year. All part of committing to the task.

I guess it's the commitment that I remember. Sort of like a sign post that says, "Start Here."

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