Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lupus Moon Update #5

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working a new writing schedule and it's really paying off. I've knocked down 8 1/2 pages on Lupus Moon in the last two days which, if you've been following, represent something of an offensive explosion. Even though I've been writing for almost 10 years now, one of the biggest problems I have has been in the area of discipline. Hopefully I'm on my way to eradicating that (let this be a lesson to new screenwriters - no matter how good you think you are, there's always something you can improve on).

I started Monday on page 18 and I'm currently on page 26. By my schedule, I'm done for the day, but I'm going to try and see if I can sneak another page or two in before bed. I've finally finished the first act and I must say I'm feeling great about where the story is. I rearranged a few scenes covering the end of Act I and the beginning of Act II and it's really made the pacing better. The last major character is about to be introduced, the primary conflict has been established, and the B and C stories are about to be set into motion - everything is where it should be (screenwriting gurus may argue that my villain should have been introduced by now, but we've seen the villain's surrogates, and they've more than caused a little trouble. We'll meet the Big Bad on page 26).

Something else I'm enjoying in the fluidity I'm allowing myself with the story. The script is plotted out and I have a soft outline of most of the scenes, but as I go, I might see something that works better in another area or feel lines might better go to a different character. In one instance, the perfect ending to a scene presented itself even though in my notes there was more dialogue to be had. That dialogue's being moved to a later scene where I think it'll have greater impact. Also, a bit about a character's infidelities, once belonging to another character and taken out, has found a new home. I'm finding great relief in that I'm not needing everything I put in during pre-writing at the time I originally put it in - that things can be moved, tabled or deleted altogether and that the script is becoming tighter because of it. I've also found a few places to inject a bit of humor, something sorely lacking in my outline.

It's looking really good. I can't wait until I have something to show to get feedback.


A Change in Schedule

I started a new schedule this week to make my days more efficient, and it's already paying off...

I've read articles from time to time about the habits of professional screenwriters and noticed that many of them get up early and write. On top of that, to my surprise, they only write 4-5 hours a day. Me, being the anti-morning person that I am, flinched at the idea, but after some frustration over my output (or lack, thereof) I decided to give it a shot. In the past, when I was up early and happened to write, I enjoyed it a lot, but making it a regular thing was a whole different matter. When I finish a treatment, I always note the time and date it was completed, and looking over my body of work, it was obvious that like the Batman, I liked working at night.

I'm not so sure anymore.

In the past two days of getting up at 7:00 AM and on the computer by 8:00 (okay, Monday it was 9:00; I started out behind the eight ball), and working four hours, I've not only gotten 8 1/2 pages done, but I've been able to do it with clarity I haven't enjoyed in a long time. There's a lot to be said for starting off with a fresh brain and relaxed mind (and a nice cup of coffee). In fact, when it came time for me to stop today, I didn't want to. I was on a roll, and it's been a long time since I had that feeling. I just wanted to keep cranking the pages out.

So from now on, I'm a morning writer, and if I get to pick up some more pages in the evening before I go to bed or on a Friday or Saturday night when I'll allow myself to stay up late (though I might change that as well - weekends are technically "free time," but they've yielded some of my best writing in the past and I'd like to get back to that), the more the merrier. Though it's 7 in the evening at the time of this writing, I had such a good day earlier (and just had a great nap) that I'm chomping at the bit to get back to work. I haven't had this feeling in a long time, and it's great to have it back.

Now all I need is a good coffee maker...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Project Update - 12/27/09

It's been a long time since the last update, but here's where things stand...

Jillted's been put on the back burner, only because I can only work on so many projects at a time. I was gonna try and do the whole juggling projects thing, but I think the most efficient way to get things accomplished, at least at this time, is for me to settle down and focus in on one project. I still have a lot of love for the project, and it's one I can't wait to get back to work on. Which means...

Lupus Moon is the featured script. I spent some time this past weekend reflecting/brainstorming on Alexandria's back story and the world in which she inhabits and, after a bit of inspiration from the BBC's Being Human, I've made some changes to Alex's world and back story that not only work better and remove clutter, but adds more flesh to the bones of the mythology. It's reinvigorated me, and I can't wait to lean in on the script.

But that's for the "write-to-sell" projects. On the independent side, I've settled on a new project for my directorial debut, as well as the first feature to roll out under Cougar's Marque Entertainment, my production company. After a ton of debate, and in weirdly ironic "cycle back to where it all began" fashion, I decided to lead out with Sistas Ain't Havin' It!, a comedy that originated as a stage play in 1993 (because I didn't know how to write a screenplay then), rewritten and self-produced in 1997, outlined as a screenplay in 1998, adapted as a screenplay in 2000, sent to DreamWorks (yes, that DreamWorks) in 2000 where it was passed on, and sat filed away ever since. Now I'm picking it back up again with eyes on reworking it (yet again) and producing it independently. I'm very excited about the new ideas I have, but I'll have to wait until I'm finished with Lupus Moon to really get into it.

But right now I have my heading - and that's all that really matters.