Thursday, November 15, 2007

Consistency is Key

Last night I did extra work so I could take a day off tonight. Also, I’m going to see American Buffalo at Theater Schmeater and then seeing Dog Park again (its so funny!).

The rewrites on pages 60-75 went well, so I kept working up until about page 90. I made a few additions, cut a scene, and reworked two scenes into one. The script is finding a good pace and gathers momentum nicely. It’s safe to say that I’m pleased and feeling “dandy”.

Does it have a few holes or problems still? Oh, yeah. But I'm ignoring them right now the same way I ignore that my ears are too big for my face when I look in the mirror in the morning.

I must say, though, I’m having doubts about this whole “writing a script in 21 days” thing. Part of it is that I do believe a writer needs some distance and time to pause and reflect upon his/her pages. Often it’s this time away that allows you to see where the writing could be improved. This could be a day, a week, or a month. At then end of the 21 days, I am going to take a month or two off and then sit down and reread the entire script through. Then we’ll see how it stands.

I'm still in the “this is brilliant!” phase of writing. And let’s face it, initially you need an ego like Zeus hurling lightning bolts to muster the courage to put words on the page. There's not time to reflect about whether or not its’ good. But when you’re rewriting, this all-powerful feeling ain’t so helpful.

To be fair, some of it could be brilliant. I’ll give myself a little credit. But, not every single word. That just doesn’t happen. And part of rewriting is discovering the difference. Experience has taught me that months down the line, it becomes easier to look back and whittle away the crap.

But I do say this about my little experiment...It’s planted my butt in the chair and had me writing at a consistent time every day and/or night. Usually my schedule is erratic. I try to put in ten to fifteen hours a week writing (notice the "try"...means I don't have to if I don't feel like...). But lately I've had a schedule and I've kept to it. Sure, my workouts have suffered. Sure, I have no social life (never really had one, anyway). Sure, my golf swing has suffered. But I find now that when I sit down to write it doesn’t take as much time for the brain to “get back into it” and get the writing flowing again.

And its making me write in this blog every day which is itself a fun exercise in shaping my thoughts into coherent words.

So lesson here is write at the same time every day. Make it an appointment you keep with yourself. Even if its just for an hour or even ten minutes. You’ll find it gets easier the more ya do it.

Who was the writer who said, “no day without a line”? I think it was Homer. (No, not the Simpson.)

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