The thrill of gaining momentum

Hang on!

Ever have one of those days where you feel absolutely unstoppable? That you possess the ability to deftly take on any challenge and emerge victorious, not to mention completely unscathed?

Kind of how it is for me at the moment. Oh, how I wish I could bottle this for use at a future time. Like when my brain hurts from trying to think my way through a story problem.

I suspect a lot of this comes from really liking the results of the Act One rewrite. It feels a lot stronger now. (Next up – the daunting task of taking on Act Two.)

That sense of accomplishment is a huge ego boost for anybody, so cherish it and hang on to it as long as you can, because you know it’s not going to last. Sad, but true.

-I met with a script consultant yesterday (on a purely social level), and she was genuinely overwhelmed/surprised at how busy I was, especially in terms of producing material – the rewrite, outlining the new script, the blog, developing the podcast. It never occurred to me I was actually doing that much.  It’s all just part of what I do.

But it’s nice to know it impresses somebody.

(Incidentally, she offers one-on-one consulting, and a great weekend seminar on how to really improve your writing, which also includes a year of mentoring. Both definitely worth checking out.)


Sometimes it’s necessary, no matter how hard you fight it

Working on this rewrite has definitely helped me improve as a writer.

I started the process thinking “Okay. I’ll change what I have to in order to make this better.”

But the more I worked on it, the more I thought “I like it the way it is. Maybe I don’t have to change anything.”

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

The whole point of the rewrite is to CHANGE IT TO MAKE IT BETTER. Look for ways to improve what’s already there.

Maybe it’s something small, or maybe it’s something that completely changes the dynamic, but no matter what, you do what’s necessary to make your script stronger.  Even if you don’t want to, which makes it that much harder.

Case in point: DREAMSHIP has a supporting character I love. He was a blast to write, and I thought he had a pretty solid backstory, but some high-quality feedback opened my eyes to the fact that there needed to be more to him. How could I fix that? I ran through various scenarios until I found what I needed: flip his personality around.

And much to my amazement, everything I had come up with before not only still worked, but now even more so. He’s got more depth as a character, including a more satisfying arc, and I’ll be able to create more conflict with him in later scenes.

Lesson learned: I didn’t want to change something I considered ‘just fine the way it is,’ but I had to accept that those changes had to be made. Sure, they were hard to deal with at first, but they improved the story.

Now I’m not as hesitant about making changes, and my script is that much better for it.

Busy, busy, busy!

Sometimes it can feel like this

September is starting off with a lot going on for yours truly.

-We’re in the process of relocating (staying in our much beloved City by the Bay, but changing addresses), so most spare time is dedicated to purging all unwanted stuff, and boxing and transporting what we can to the new place until the movers come later this month.

-I offered to read somebody’s script and make comments/suggestions. Really should get started on that.

-V’s super-busy with soccer, so I wear my chauffeur hat 2 afternoons a week. Nothing like mapping out the rewrite of an outline while sitting in a parked car. Being plugged into Pandora helps.

-I’ve got a half-marathon coming up on Sept 16 (The Giant Race) and another in L.A. at the end of October. I’m averaging about 9 minutes a mile, which isn’t bad, but I’d like to break 1:55, so I train when I can.

Suffice to say, my plate’s a little on the full side for the next few weeks, so progress has been slowed. It’s too difficult to say when I expect to be done with the DREAMSHIP rewrite. Wish I could devote more time to it, but I do what I can.

Do you have a lot going on? How do you handle it? Curious to know how others divvy up their time.

-Oops. Almost forgot. V’s working on her first book report – Book One of LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. She really likes it; even quietly admitted she liked reading. We couldn’t be more thrilled.