Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Finding a process

I hate writing. I love having written - Dorothy Parker

I'm new to this writing thing, folks. Well, not new. Let's revise that.

I'm new to really sticking to this writing thing and not just vomiting something out every few years when the pressure builds up, folks.

That sounds too complicated.

How about, "Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for reading this evening. We will be discussing modes of -"

No.  I'm new to forming things into coherent pieces. I've only done it a few times.  A couple of short plays, a short film, a spec script, a pilot.  Doesn't feel like an oeuvre, by any means.  Or even a bad habit yet. Or even a style and a voice. I'm barely out of voice preschool.

This evening I'm working on adapting a short story I wrote about ten years ago (has it been that long?) into a screenplay. I always saw it as a film. I kind of see everything as a film.  The idea is getting bigger. Anyhow.  All of it is very new. It's hard not to be over critical.  When I was writing my spec I wrote DON'T EDIT WHILE WRITING across the top of the page as I started writing.  Good thing to remember.

Today, as I was brainstorming, which I'm becoming aware is part of the process for me, I suddenly wrote F*** THE RULES, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.  Thank you, inner voice.

The thing about doing this and being self-taught is you read a lot of opinions of how things need to be shaped and formed, what they should look like when they're done. But I'm not there yet. I'm still gathering ingredients, if you will.  I haven't even left the grocery store. In one sense of the metaphor, I'm still making a list and haven't even driven to the store yet.  It's too early to think about dessert. Actually, that metaphor doesn't make sense, because you really do have an idea when you cook a meal what you need and what it will be.  I think this is more driving the cart along the grocery store aisles thinking, "Mmmm. Tacos." Something came up about the relationship in the story, a new place I hadn't discovered, and I felt a pressure in my chest and a well of emotion. I'm hopefully in the right aisle.

Like the post below about good/bad, I think rules are great, necessary to know and have their place.  But along the road, when you're making something, the joy is in finding out what it's going to be, to let it become what it is. The best things I loved bent the rules a little. Or that's how I see it; I'm still a novice.

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