Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Fear

Fear drives people to do all kinds of crazy things. Sometimes, though, fear drives us *from* doing things.

See, for me, I can't help but wonder if it's fear keeping me all bunged up in the creative head.

When I was younger, ideas were a dime a dozen. I couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting an idea that seemed appealing to me. Something I could write about. I still believe I can write a scene. A sequence. Something small. It's the larger stuff that's eluding me.

I'm exausted by the possibilities. The longer I work on something, the worse it gets. I have time to think of more possibilities. I mean, really, *anything* can happen. I don't know how I did it before. When I was young. It was the same situation, but somehow there just weren't as many possibilities.

The start of the script was here. I was wrong of course, but there was no doubt in my mind. Now... I come up with 20 different scenarios for one story. And 25% of them change the bloody story so that now I have a mish-mash of about 4 or 5 stories. None of which is a complete one.

Is it fear? I mean, if I complete the script. Then I have to do something with it, right? It's at that point that it's confirmed if I suck or not. Or if I have an idea that's worth a shit. Right now, I'm a writer that just hasn't made it. I cross that line and write something then I'm either a success or a failure.

Before I go getting too melodramatic, I must confess that it's really not fear for me. I just spread myself too thin. I want to do it all. And you know where that leads -- nowhere.

The problem, however, is real. I know that the best plan for me is to come up with the idea, hammer the bastard into an outline, then write. Problem is, I've already waited too long. So now I have a bunch of ideas and none form a coherant story.

How do some of you hammer out an idea into a story? How do you come up with your log lines?
How many of you come up with characters in situations for a story versus a high concept idea you beat out into a story versus my particular curse, concepts? By concepts I mean something that sounds high concept, but it's really just a kernal of an idea (i.e. A guy who's terrified of heights gets his dream job, but it's working on the top floor of the Sears building.)



Blogger Mystery Man said...

It's funny you should post this. I'll tell you exactly how I hammer out a story. I write by fear. Whatever's my greatest weakness, whatever is most challenging, I attack it.



Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 11:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on my comment, but I had the same problem.
Here's how I solve it. After much mental percolation of the idea, I write out the situation/concept in prose. Might just be a couple of paragraphs.
Then, I write out the theme.
Then, I write out the beats using a form I found online (Snyder's 15 beats defined) but I can't find it now - I can email it though.
Then, I write a "scriptment" which is a combo first draft with some dialogue/story outline.
The beat sheet is my key - it gives me a starting point, an ending point, and let's me map the road in between.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 at 10:29:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

I too like the beatsheet. I'd written earlier in the blog about my combining of the beat sheet, Hal Ackerman's technique and the Writer's Journey structure. It's a nice combination, but it doesn't actually write - it just gives you a great place to put all your ideas.

Monday, October 9, 2006 at 1:41:00 AM EDT  

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