I create context. I also write blog posts:

You Don't Have It

Posted: August 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

About a week and a half ago, I received one of those soul-crushing, heart-wrenching, cliche-enticing rejection letters that come so frequently when you enter things you’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears — or, in my case, over a year of hard work — into something you’re proud of. Not so much with the blood or sweat or tears for me, I’ll grant you, but quite a bit of red wine and concentration, and hey, maybe even a little sweat (I wrote quite a few pages sitting in my boxers in a hot apartment in Los Angeles). And it was a fairly personal script. I don’t know how anybody else writes, but I write about my own experiences, blanketed in the veil of another world, of course (to avoid offending nearly everyone I know), and for those experiences to be outright rejected hurt quite a bit.

And it was tough, and I’ve gone through some ups and downs since then — throwing away whole pages of dialogue, reworking entire acts, and even an erection lasting more than four hours; basically, just the stuff everyone goes through — and I’m still grappling with the “what does this mean” question that needs to be answered soon. Does it mean I suck and I should try selling insurance for a bit? Hopefully not. Does it mean that the reader was just the one asshole in the world that didn’t like my rose-smelling shit? Eh, as much as I’d like to believe it, probably not that either. It’s been a long week and a half for me, I won’t lie, and at points I’ve considered myself to be in a sort of “fragile” place when it comes to confidence and my ability to write and even my desire to write.
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Finding A Reason Not To Write

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | 2 Comments »

I would say that I love writing, but that’s only really like a half-truth: I like the end result of writing, I like reading what I’ve written. And the process is satisfying too, knowing that I’ve taken something from nothing to completion, I like that I’ve pulled an idea out of the air and made something of it.

[At this point, I should probably point out that I'm talking about writing screenplays and stories in this post. When I'm being paid to write something, I'm always on. ;-)]

But the actual act of writing sucks. The blank page, the writer’s block (which I don’t even believe is real, but that’s for another post…), the hand cramps… there’s always something standing in the way. I write under really specific conditions: I have to have the right background music, I have to have yellow Staples legal pads and Uniball Vision pens (they allow me to write at just the right speed: anything too quick and it’s a mess; anything too slow and I lose track of thoughts–God, this doesn’t sound like a product endorsement, does it? I’m just trying to convey that I’m picky…), the lighting has to be right, I have to be away from the TV and the computer, and I usually like a glass of wine to be sitting nearby — though, that matters less now. I can’t watch movies or read before writing because my characters all morph into the characters I’ve just seen and that throws everything off.

So most of my “writing time” is spent actively trying to find something to do instead of writing. It’s a world of excuses, and my standard for accepting them is incredibly low…

My outline isn’t complete (enough)

This sounds stupid, but I can’t write without knowing exactly what is going to happen. Even if I’m only three scenes in, I need to know how it’s going to end and what scenes I’m going to include in Act II. Spontaneity comes eventually, and it’s actually where everything good about my writing comes from, but for some reason, it’s basically the enemy. Probably because writing without an outline leads to tangents leads to rewriting. And that means sitting down to do it more.

I don’t know my characters

This I don’t understand, because characters develop and evolve throughout a story, and they’re not going to be the same on page 50 as they are on page one… or ten, or 20 even. But until I’ve spent a lot of time in a character’s head (or is it “they’ve spent a lot of time in my head?”), I’m not writing him. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty convenient for me.

I need to do more “research”

Who am I kidding? This one’s a pretty blatant excuse for me to surf the internet for a while instead. I love writing about things I don’t know (case in point: the one big script I’ve written is about scientists; I haven’t paid any attention to science since 8th grade.)

So with that, I’m off to do some writing… Though, my wrist does kinda hurt already from this post. And I did just watch three episodes of The Office…. Maybe I’ll just go do that some more.

Creation & Consumption

Posted: May 18th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

About two weeks ago, I polished and finished off a script that I had been working on since July of 2008, started just after I arrived in LA under the guidance of my mentor, Adam Mazer. I had actually “finished” the script about six months ago, burnt out on the one idea that had remained central in my head for so long. I took the interim to write new scripts (a short, one-act play and a few other little ideas, and then the first act of a new project) and figure out what’s coming next — I also moved to Long Island, got a new job, and developed and launched the social media efforts of a small store in the Hamptons. I picked up my script, The Bellerophon Project, about a month ago because I wanted to submit it to a contest or two, and there were a few sections I wanted to rework. But that was it. I honestly don’t have another original idea in my head anymore, considering I wrote numerous drafts, threw out plenty of perfectly good scenes, and read and reread the entire thing at least a dozen times — a lot when you figure that the final product comes in at just over 135 pages.

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