Saturday, March 21, 2009

They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab...

Been busy of late with the latest script. I'm past the halfway point which for me means an unending projectile vomit of words until the end. So this next week will be especially quiet as I finish this ambitious action-adventure script up and huddle in the corner, shaking like a meth addict.

Will it be Oscar-worthy prose? Oh hell no! (Fuck no, even)
But there will be a movie in there somewhere, and that's the point of a first draft.

A writer IM'd me the other day wanting to chat about his career. He' d (re) written two scripts in the 6 years he'd been writing. Of late he felt that he didn't want to write, felt blocked, etc...

The long and short of my advice was this:

If you can walk away from it. Then run.

I wouldn't want to wish some of the moments I've had in my writing career on anyone. And yet, I wouldn't trade them either. That's how insidious this writing thing is - you have to do it. And I'm not a great writer by any means, but if I want to see the images that I want to see onscreen (or on computer screen or page or iphone) then I'm at least going to write their first drafts.

I have to do that. That's how sick I am about writing this stuff. I mean - look at me - I'm relaxing from writing by... writing a blog post ABOUT writing.

But don't worry dear reader for the mental health of your completely mad pulp bastard. I take great solace in the fact that at least I'm not an actor.

Now that's nuts.


Andrew Bellware said...

The first draft is always the hardest. One of my friends calls it the "brain vomit" part of the process. I hate doing it. Rewrites I don't mind so much -- if I didn't do the first draft.

If you were an actor it would mean you started out insane.

TheGamut said...

Brain vomiting? Hmmm. I never thought of doing something like that. My brain usually just farts out something melodic occasionally.

Is there some way of sticking a proverbial finger down the brain's proverbial throat to induce said vomit?

Cunningham said...

"It doesn't matter - it's just a first draft."

"Oh this would be cool - let me throw that in there."

Just follow the outline - you can make it good later."

Write at the same time every day. Someplace quiet where you won't be bothered.

You're trying for page count here not perfection. Minimum 3 pages / day. Think about it - 90 pages in a month. You can write 3 pages in an hour.

Writing is not an event. It's just something you do. So if you treat it that way it's not a big deal to give up an hour of your day to write.

Go in knowing what you're going to write: This morning I'm writing the scenes where our heroine and our hero begin to realize they need each other because the problem they have to solve is way bigger than either one of them alone. [I'm being vague here for the script's sake. You should go in knowing from your outline what it is you're going to write, where it takes place, who's in it, etc...)

TheGamut said...

Oy! With just the schedule alone, I could not induce brain vomiting. :\

However... most music doesn't go beyond 3 minutes, though there are many that go several hours (called operas... *shudder*). I'm not sure that bulk is the idea... or is it still the idea?

I dunno. I guess it could be like a photographer with the rapid-fire picture taking and weeding out the unwanted shots. I am having difficulty applying that to writing music, though. When I go into it with an intent (at the random time I can sit down for it), I come back with nothing. A sound inspires a thought with me, and then, I can build on it somewhat, but I cannot seem to think of a sound from a thought that didn't come from a sound.