• I’ll go mad before Sept 1st… well, go madder

    This month is whizzing by. I’ve officially started the final re-write of my screenplay. I have until Wednesday to sort most of the problems out. I spent the early afternoon critting a friend’s script and then listening to my poor screenplay being dissected. It depressed me, but there was much good information imparted. The script, when it is completed, will be the better for it. In a move that Martin described as “You like to keep yourself busy, don’t you?” I started an online screenwriting course last weekend. I’m trying to keep up with the daily assignments. This was particularly hard last week when I was consumed with entertaining very…

  • getting on with it

    I brought my laptop into the living room this afternoon, and tapped away on the new short story as I sat on the couch. It was a nice change of venue. One of the reasons I bought this model laptop is that even though it is small and portable it has a proper-size keyboard, and it’s very comfortable to type on. I made good progress on the story, but I guess I have a third left to go (often the most difficult part for me). I’m not too happy with how some of the back story is explained: there’s too much exposition via dialogue. I’ve become sensitised to this device…

  • slowing down so I can speed up again

    My absence has been due to the pressures of work. I handed in my essay last Friday, and then had a deadline on Monday for an article on the Star Wars saga. I watched all five films, and wrote the 1,600 word article, starting from Saturday afternoon until the wee hours on Sunday. The resulting article is now available to read on Sigla. I’ve posted a review of the new film, Revenge of the Jedi on my other web site, babblogue, and archived the review here too. So yes, I’ve been busy. I spent much of the Sunday before my essay was due writing the opening half of a new…

  • a fork in the road

    I’ve set up a quota of pages I have to write every day in order to keep on track. So far I’ve been pretty good at maintaining it. I’m past the half-way mark in the screenplay, I hope. The urge to go back and re-write is like a deep pervasive itch I want to scratch. As I write, part of my mind is already considering how to restructure the scenes, what to lop, and what to expand. I resist the urge to give in. Instead I keep my eye on the finish line. I hope to have this race run by next Friday at the latest. If I make that…

  • a new month, and the end of the year approaches

    This week is insane. Today I finished my film treatment, and handed it in–ten minutes before deadline. I wouldn’t have cut it so close but for the fact I was sick last week, and on Saturday I woke up with the idea for a totally new screenplay. I plotted the film that day, and on Sunday I spent the day in front of the computer and completed the entire step-outline. Since I had classes Monday and Tuesday, that didn’t leave me with much time to write up the treatment for the new film by the deadline today. But, you’ve got to strike when the inspiration is hot. In the past…

  • avoiding writing by writing

    Pen of choice

    Most writers have plenty of work-avoidance tasks. Things like cleaning the bath, re-cataloguing all your books, filing your tax receipts, and other shitty jobs that we only accomplish when we should be writing. I’ve discovered a new work-avoidance task: writing. Much to my surprise, I’ve been feeling an overwhelming urge to write new work and polish existing pieces. In the past three days I’ve submitted one poem and two short stories to markets. This should be a cause for celebration except… I’m doing it when I should be tackling my script step outline that’s due tomorrow, or the essay that is due on Friday. Who’d have thought that I could…

  • P P P

    Thank goodness next week is a “reading week” for College. I’ve just had an intense seven days with no break, lots of classes, and little rest. There are a number of deadlines looming for projects in the coming weeks. I’m going to have to get on top of my research for an essay, and start polishing my film treatment. Today I tackled a re-write of a story that was rejected from a magazine last month. It was good to rework it and smooth off the rough edges. I fired it off to another market. Let’s see how it fares this time. It’s been at least six weeks since I’ve had…

  • the drum is the most important instrument

    I was chatting with a guy I know about films tonight. He makes documentaries, and has a tremendous knowledge of cinema, but has a definite bias towards arthouse films with something to say. It’s great discussing movies with him because he knows so much about alternative films, especially those made in the 1970s – the last decade when avant garde cinema was considered a viable, and even necessary, market. We have a lot of overlap in taste, but I also enjoy the cinema of pure entertainment, which doesn’t appeal to him at all. It’s an interesting conundrum when you consider writing for film. Do you tackle the project that you…

  • metaphors on writing and making progress

    For me, coming up with new ideas is not a problem. I’ve plenty of them. But, as the maxim goes: an idea is not a story. Crafting the idea into a story is the tricky part. Thinking of this I opened up my “ideas” file yesterday, and was grateful I had the sense to outline some of them. I’d forgotten several concepts until I re-read them. Always get it down on paper. Or, as in this case, transcribe it as data. The file needed updating, so I added a number I’ve been mulling over. This simple document is broken down into sections: short stories, novels, comics, and screenplays. By the…

  • the magic bookshop strikes again

    A new story has started writing itself in my mind. At the moment I have the opening couple of lines, with the sense of the first paragraph. I have a few hints as to what it’s all about, but it’s not ready to be written. First I have to do some research. I’ve already read a book today called The New Mind by Dr. Richard Restak–it has a subtitle to its subtitle: How the modern age is rewiring your mind: research from the frontiers of brain science. It’s written so a non-scientist like myself can easily understand the concepts, and there is plenty of fodder in that book for more…