Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Another Day In Paradise

Okay, so I got out of my funk rather quickly, as funks go. Nothing like a good night's sleep to give you a different perspective. I may stink, but it's my stink, and I'll keep it up until I'm sick of it. Screenwriting is like being on top of the Ferris Wheel when it gets stuck. You never know what's around the corner until you hit the speed bump and fall over the handlebars.

I got another crazy idea---yes, another one to add to my collection---but it's so damn good that I'm now I'm trying to work that into my schedule. It's not easy to switch from thriller mode to wild over the top comedy. And since I have ideas from two years ago that I still want to get to, it's clear that at some point I will have to clone myself.

Find a great idea.

Write a great script.

Re-write same great script.

They love your great script, but want more changes.

What was that great idea?

That great idea sold yesterday.

Who the fuck are you?

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Pits

Every so often, I fall into what can only be described as melancholia (okay, depression). Me, usually so chipper, so perky, so up and optimistic.

Yeah, even screenwriters get the blues.

I usually feel this way when I get a rejection that I was really hoping wouldn't be, when I'm flabbergasted over notes/comments that makes me question my creative judgement and/or talent, when I feel I haven't lived up to my ability, I question past choices and a slew of "what if's", when the writing isn't going smoothly or a hundred other things that all point to the inevitable conclusion: I suck, I have always sucked, and my two produced movies were freaks of nature.

And so I agonize and wonder if this isn't the time to chuck the screenwriting game and move on.

As Julie, my good bud, puts it, screenwriting isn't a sprint, it's a marathon, but there comes a time where you have to say, after beating your head against the wall and getting nowhere, when to give up, when enough is enough. How many times does your heart have to break before you say the hell with it.

When French women get depressed, we REALLY get depressed.

I was spoiled early on, having one of my very first scripts sell so quickly, and then get made. Everyone assumed it would be easy after the first sale. So did I. Instead, it's been just the opposite. I could go through a whole laundry list of why I haven't broken through. Poor representation. Bad timing. The writer's strike. And I've gotten close enough, tantalizingly so, to know that I'm not THAT bad. Yet it's still not enough. I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong. And I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of running in place with holes in my sneakers. I'm tired of trying to write to a marketplace that seems to be always one step ahead of me, and I'm tired that when I do write for myself, no one seems to be on my page. I'm tired of the highs and lows; it's like being on a frigging roller coaster at Six Flags. One minute someone thinks your idea is the best thing since sliced bread and you're flying so high you need oxygen, and the next, someone tears you down as if you're a complete neophyte, and you feel lower than a slug, you're gum under someone's shoe, you're a bug on the windshield, snot in...well, I think you get the picture.

I knew it was going to be hard. But hard for this long? I dunno. Something's got to give. I feel like a rubber band, stretched to the limit.

Now aren't you happy I've unloaded? Makes you long for the days when I just posted You-Tube videos.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aw Man!

Yes, we have a new look, which I'm still on the fence about. Mom, Hubby and Kid #3 like, Cousin no like.

Been writing, been reading, been waiting. That pretty much sums it up.

Are you sick of winter? I know I am. We had flurries yesterday. The crocuses are blooming, the daffodils are getting ready for their debut, and it's freezing out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Ruby Red Headed Warbler

Now boys and girls, brush your teeth, pull up a chair and listen up. Mama's got something to say on a subject very near and dear to her.

I'm talking about voice.

No, not the way I sound on the phone, which is Starbucks on crack.

I'm referring to the writing voice. The voice that makes you unique. The voice that separates Stephen King from, let's say, a Stephenie Meyer.

Here's an observation that may shock some people: writing is easy. Yes, it is. Any chimp worth his banana can sit down at a computer and type. And with the proliferation of screenwriting software, it's really just a question of filling in the blanks.

Except for one thing: you can string the words together, but it's the way you put them together that adds up to your voice.











I've read scripts, many scripts, too many to scripts to count, scripts that sold for big moolah, that were perfectly formatted, grammatically correct, hit all the beats according to Blake Snyder, yet were duller than baby food.

A script doesn't have to be perfect to sell. It doesn't have to be perfectly structured. A script can have a plethora of flaws and foibles and still get produced.

But even for all the flaws, a script has to that intangible something that sets it apart from the pack.


If your script has a voice, it can hide a multitude of sins.

If your script doesn't have it, it's like the Emperor With No Clothes.

I'd rather have a script that says something (yet have problems), than a "perfectly formatted" script with all the life of a corpse.

And that's what Mama says.