Strong start out of the gate


weiner dog race

My first project of the year was to keep pushing through on revising the sci-fi adventure outlines, but a few days before New Year’s, a colleague contacted me and asked if I could take a look at his collaborator’s first ten pages.

English isn’t the writer’s first language, so while the intent and context of the words and the overall sense of the story were there, in addition to a lot more telling than showing, the pages just didn’t read smoothly. I asked my friend if they wanted to me to do some cleanup work and polish it.

“Please. And feel free to make any changes you think are necessary.”

Challenge accepted.

My project was put on hold, with all focus redirected to this. It’s been a lot of fun. What the original story had made for a good foundation, and I’ve really enjoyed putting my own spin on it and doing what I can to kick things up a notch. Nothing drastic, but again – fun stuff.

It also helps that my friend gave me a deadline. I know what I need to do, and how much time I have to do it. That really helps you stay focused.

If I can keep up my daily output of productivity, it looks like I’ll beat the deadline by at least one to two days. Which is what I was hoping for.

And then it’s right back into my own material.

Part of my plan for 2020 is to not only get something done every day, but to have it help me move things forward. So far, so good.

And the first week isn’t even over yet.

A workload on steroids

Man drowning in stacks of paperwork
All I need to do is cut out the non-essentials. Who needs food, sleep or oxygen anyway?

I’m in the home stretch for the November writing project. I got into Act 3 over the weekend, and think there about 10-12 pages left before I can call it a day. No reason I can’t wrap things up in the next couple of days. Estimated final page count should be somewhere in the mid-90s, so pretty much where I was hoping it would be.

My original intent was to put that on the back burner once it was done and shift my focus to another script, but something else has developed that definitely requires my attention: other people’s work.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten some fantastic feedback from friends and trusted colleagues. Now it’s my turn to return the favor.

Actually, make that favors. Plural.

Every time I’ve asked someone if they’d be willing to read and give me notes, I always offer to do the same for them. And several have taken me up on the offer.

Which is totally fine. I just didn’t expect all of them to happen within such a short timeframe.  But it’s cool. Just requires a little planning.

Some script-related items, two scripts requiring special attention (with a bit of a time limitation), and at least 4-5 others getting straight-up notes. Yeah, that’s a lot, but I’d feel pretty shitty if I didn’t reciprocate the kindness all of these folks extended to me.

While I’d love to keep the 2-pages-a-day momentum going clear through to the end of December and have at least part of a draft of another script, taking care of these is now top priority.

It may take me a little longer than I expect, but I always strive to honor my commitments. I said I’d do something for you, and by gosh, I’ll do it.

It’s the least I can do.

I have no excuse

I was really bad about posting this week.  Only once.  That’s just wrong.

Part of the problem was frustration with the outline.  While I liked it, something seemed to be missing.  It also felt as if I had written myself into a corner, creatively speaking.  I had the set-up, but not the solution, which is not the way to do it.

So even though I told myself I wouldn’t do it, I started over.  All the way back to the beginning, which in this case means the logline.

Something about it just didn’t seem to click, so I noodled around with it and came up with 2 versions.  One was a little more…intense, and one was just different.

I sent them both to writer friends and got very helpful feedback.  Then I consulted with my most valued critic, aka K.  She liked what I came up with as well.  She also said how much she likes the idea and can’t wait to read it when it’s done.

So now I need to start a slight restructuring of the story itself.  Do I keep the sidekick?  Is there a way to simplify things, but also keep them moving at a steady pace?  These and many more questions I hope to answer in the coming weeks.

-Interesting follow-up to my short-writing experience from last summer.  Apparently all the post-production is finished, so the release party is in a few weeks.  But it’s on a Thursday night, starting at 8PM, which for a creaky odl traffic reporter like me, that’s kind of late.  And it’s at a dance club-type place, which is REALLY not my kind of environment.  Highly doubtful I’ll go, but you never know.

The director sent me a note a few days ago, saying he’s going to be working on a short documentary (approximately 12-15 minutes), and wanted to know if I’d be open to writing the script for it.  And he’ll have a budget, which means $$$ for yours truly!  Actually, more like $.

I’ve never written a docu before, but I love watching them, so I have a general idea of how to go about it.  The subject matter is something completely foreign to me: DJ school.  As in club.  Not radio.  Although the latter would be kind of cool, I don’t think they have those anymore.

I’m meeting with him on Monday to discuss it, so I’ll post how that went, along with the usual LUCY updates.

-Strong recommendation for a hilarious podcast about movies .  4 guys talking about what they liked or didn’t like about the movie selection of the week.  All types of genres from various decades, but the 80s seem to get the most representation.

What’s really great is that a lot of the movies are available on Netflix via streaming, so watching them isn’t too much of a hassle, provided you have the time to watch.  Even if you haven’t seen the movie in a while, it’s still a blast to listen to.