We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
1. It's A Wonderful Life
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. Saving Private Ryan
6. Blade Runner
7. American Beauty
8. Silent Running
9. Dead Poets' Society
Go here for the list with moment descriptions.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The John Denver/Muppets Christmas CD remains my favorite to this day. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
NOMINATIONS PRESS RELEASE
All I can say is that I have a lot of catching up to do. There are so many great movies that I haven't seen yet. As you can see from previous posts, when I get to the theater it is almost always to see a "family film". It is a bummer always having to wait for the DVD to come out. Oh well!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Here are the top 25 musicals according to EW.com -
1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
2. West Side Story (1961)
3. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
4. Cabaret (1972)
5. Mary Poppins (1964)
6. The Band Wagon (1953)
7. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
8. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
9. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
10. Love Me Tonight (1932)
11. An American in Paris (1951)
12. Swing Time (1936)
13. On the Town (1949)
14. Grease (1978)
15. Hairspray (2007)
16. A Star Is Born (1954)
17. Chicago (2002)
18. The Busby Berkeley Disc (2006 compilation)
19. The Sound of Music (1965)
20. Funny Girl (1968)
21. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
22. Gigi (1958)
23. The Music Man (1962)
24. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
25. Once (2006)
Personaly, I think their list is way off. Any list of best musicals that includes South Park loses me completely. The Sound of Music definitely belongs in the top five. And I would further argue that a top 25 list should include Guys and Dolls, Easter Parade and My Fair Lady (Although, perhaps they are not including it because Audrey Hepburn didn't actually do the singing.)
I am guessing that they guy they made put together the list is not a big fan of musicals? What do you say?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams
After drifting aimlessly for a while, I decided to go back and rewrite my After Alice script. I tend to say that I like rewriting more than I like writing. I guess the grass always looks greener on the otherside, because I am missing the days of staring out at a blank page.
What should I keep? What should I toss? I keep second guessing myself. The whole process feels very overwhelming right now. I guess all I can do is work hard and hope that in the end I have made it something better and not something worse.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I am hoping to find a good deal this weekend. Wish me luck!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The Game Plan
It is a tradition for my family to go see a movie on Halloween. There was only one PG rated movie playing and this was it. I cringed, but what is a mother to do? It is $60 and an hour and a half of my life I will never get back, but the kids seemed to like it. At least the Rock is easy on the eyes.
Fred Claus won out over The Bee Movie in a 3 to 1 vote. I am a big Vince Vaughn fan, so I tried to be hopeful. I must say the movie did have its moments and the kids loved it. It wasn't quite as good as Elf, but it wasn't nearly so bad as the Tim Allen Santa Claus movies.
I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since I caught the trailer awhile back. It looked like it would be right up my alley and it was. I love musicals. The world would be a better place if only people would randomly burst into song throughout their day. I try to sing on a whim where ever I am as often as I can. It is my little contribution to world. Anyway, the movie was a great balance between humor and sweetness. It worked for me. The kids thought it was great, too. Although, the Susan Sarandon character scared the heck out of the younger ones.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Top Ten Film Lines
1. "I'll be back." The Terminator
2. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone With The Wind
3. "Beam me up, Scotty." Star Trek
4. "May the force be with you." Star Wars
5. "Life is like a box of chocolates." Forrest Gump
6. "You talking to me?" Taxi Driver
7. "Show me the money." Jerry Maguire
8. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" Dirty Harry
9. "Here's looking at you, kid." Casablanca
10. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." Dirty Dancing
That is the dream, isn't it? Imagine writing something that is so memorable it becomes a common catch phrase.
(Note that all of the lines listed were spoken by men. Are we not writing great lines for women? Hmm.)
As an interesting side note, there was more to the survey. They also asked the people which movies they would like to star in. Women chose Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman. The men opted for Star Wars, Die Hard, and James Bond films. I told you it was interesting - ha!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
"United Hollywood has created an online petition for you to be able to add your voice (e-voice?) to the growing numbers who are supporting the writers. Sign the petition, and spread it around to everyone you know who thinks that writers deserve fair compensation for use of their work." - from the United Hollywood blog
In support of the WGA strike
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
So here is your assignment for today, dear readers. Find a song that inspires you to write something, whether it gives you an idea for a script or just puts you into a better frame of mind. AND/OR (don't you love choices) peek into the lyrics and find a stanza that sums up the theme of whatever script you're working on. It's quite uncanny how the two circumstances go together.
If possible, post a video of the song to really get people into the mood. (Yep, I'm aware of the irony of using Internet clips during the pissing contest. I like irony as much as bitchiness.)
Then, send the assignment (by e-mail or posting to one of their blog entries) to 5 other writers to do. Inspire the world! Or just some random people from your blogroll, like me. Then pass it on like a gonorrhea outbreak on a Degrassi episode. Woohoo, TV rules!
I often listen to music when I am trying to set a tone in my mind for whatever it is that I am writing. The song that best fits the screenplay I am working on now is definitely Learn To Be Still by the Eagles.
Here are a few lines from the song that tell the story -
How do I get out of here
Where do I fit in?
Though the world is torn and shaken
Even if your heart is breakin’
It’s waiting for you to awaken
And someday you will-
Learn to be still
Learn to be still
Tag! You're it!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Hollywood writers ready to strike...
Some of the most popular shows on US television could be forced off the air if writers go ahead with a strike over pay. Scriptwriters are threatening to log off their computers on Thursday if a last-minute deal cannot be reached over royalty payments. (and so on...)
I don't have much to say about the possible strike. I do hope that the increased media attention will increase the general public's awareness about the importance of the writer. A little more respect and appreciation for movie and television writers would be awfully nice.
Well, I am off to Artful Writer to see what Craig Mazin has to say about the state of things.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The complete list of IDA's "25 Best Documentaries" is included below:
1. "Hoop Dreams," directed by Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx
2. "The Thin Blue Line," directed by Errol Morris
3. "Bowling for Columbine," directed by Michael Moore
4. "Spellbound," directed by Jeffery Blitz
5. "Harlan County USA," directed by Barbara Kopple
6. "An Inconvenient Truth," directed by Davis Guggenheim
7. "Crumb," directed by Terry Zwigoff's Crumb
8. "Gimme Shelter," directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
9. "The Fog of War," directed by Errol Morris
10. "Roger and Me," directed by Michael Moore
11. "Super Size Me," directed by Morgan Spurlock
12. "Don't Look Back," directed by DA Pennebaker
13. "Salesman," directed by Albert and David Maysles
14. "Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance," directed by Godfrey Reggio
15. "Sherman's March," directed by Ross McElwee
16. "Grey Gardens," directed by Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer
17. "Capturing the Friedmans," directed by Andrew Jarecki
18. "Born into Brothels," directed by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski
19. "Titticut Follies," directed by Frederick Wiseman
20. "Buena Vista Social Club," directed by Wim Wenders
21. "Fahrenheit 9/11," directed by Michael Moore
22. "Winged Migration," directed by Jacques Perrin
23. "Grizzly Man," directed by Werner Herzog
24. "Night and Fog," directed by Alain Resnais
25. "Woodstock," directed by Michael Wadleigh
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Next on my list is a book by Steven D. Katz called "Shot By Shot".
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I have been doing research for my documentary. My time has been consumed by studying both my subject matter and the art of documentary making. Whether or not I will be a success is yet to be seen, but I am excited to give it a try. It has been keeping me busy. There is a lot to learn.
I haven't tossed writing by the wayside though. There is yet another delay in finishing up my current spec., but I am holding out hope of having a final draft before the year is done. I am also thinking about working on some rewrites for After Alice, my first script.
Lastly, I joined an online screenwriting group. It is nice to have a supportive group of fellow struggling amateurs to get feedback from. And reading their scripts keeps me focused.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
I have wanted to attend the Austin Film Festival for three years now. I thought that 2007 would be my year, but it isn't. I just have too much going on in my personal life to take a trip at this time. I am bummed. I was looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people (especially long-time online acquaintances). Oh well. There is always next year.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.--Louis L'Amour
Today I had one of those victories that is so minuscule it hardly deserves mentioning. Yet, on a day when I am feeling defeated any victory, no matter how small, is a welcomed gift. I received a letter from the Austin Film Festival notifying me that though I had not made it to the semi-finals I had advanced to the second round. Being in the top 10-12% of nearly 4,000 entries isn't exactly a grand slam, but it gives me hope.
It was my first screenplay. I had rushed it to completion to make the deadline. So, even though After Alice was not a contest winner I am encouraged. Though I have a long journey ahead of me, perhaps, I am headed in the right direction.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The adventures of writing with a partner continue. More about that next time...
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The script is going to need plenty of rewriting and polishing, but I am quite pleased overall. I will just be happy to move on to the next phase. I prefer rewriting to writing.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Ah, the life of a child star. There is always danger when success outstrips experience; there might also be meddling parents, and pitfalls associated with having too much too soon. And let’s not forget the ever-tricky transition from child actor to serious adult, difficult to make with integrity intact.
Test your knowledge of child actors.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I had struggled for nearly two years starting scripts that I never finished. The victory for me was jumping the hurdle and writing FADE OUT. It needed some work, but I was out of time. I had missed the Nicholl deadline last year and was terribly disappointed with myself. I decided to send it this year, because I needed to create some sense of accomplishment for myself.
Yesterday I received my "Regrettably, AFTER ALICE was not one of the 254 entries selected as a Quarterfinalist..." letter. It came as no surprise. Even as I read it I smiled a little, because I have no regrets.
Monday, July 30, 2007
It was sad to see two talented guys lose everything to drugs. They are poster children for all the evils of being a child star. They both were quality actors, especially Feldman, and I have often wondered why they have not been able to pull off a Barrymoresque comeback. They deserve a second chance.
When I saw the advertisement for The Two Coreys I had to tune in for the nostalgia. I expected it to be just another reality television nightmare - and it pretty much was. The show was less than dynamic, but it did make me laugh a few times. The basis of the show seems to be Haim fighting with Feldman's uptight, insecure, immature, b*tchy wife. I am not sure that I will bother to tune in again, but it was fun to reminisce.
Feldman doesn't look too worse for the wear. Haim hasn't fared as well, but there is still a spark of the mischievous boy he once was when he smiles. Who knows? Maybe, against all odds, they will find their way back.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Here it goes -
1. I spent almost 6 years living on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan (1993-1999).
2. Edith Wharton is my favorite author.
3. I have moved 12 times in the past 15 years. And 24 times in the past 31 years. (CORRECTION: I was thinking about it last night and I have actually moved 27 times in the past 31 years.)
4. I have had plastic surgery (Yes, my boobs are real).
5. I met my writing partner in a chat room.
6. During the past 5 years my husband has lived in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, India, Guyana, Barbados, etc. He is currently living and working in Angola.
7. I am in the beginning stages of making a documentary.
8. I listen to The Essential Billy Joel more than any other CD.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I really enjoyed the break!
But, I am back to writing. It is sooner than I had planned, but the timing feels right. I am having a great time working on my new spec. Writing is fun again!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I caught one of my favorite old films on television a couple of days ago. Ladies They Talk About is an early Barbara Stanwyck gem. Lillian Roth sings beautifully in the film.
I also caught half of A Few Good Men. I had almost forgot how wonderful a movie it is. I feel quite certain that Jack Nicholson is the greatest actor ever. It is sad to see him aging so rapidly now. There will never be another like him.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
I have used some of this extra free time to watch movies. I have been to the theater more often than usual this summer. I saw Shrek 3 twice. It isn't as good as the first two, but it is decent. The kids enjoyed it. My ten year old daughter especially like the inclusion of the princesses from other fairy tales. We liked Surf's Up. We also liked Evan Almighty. It had its share of flaws, but it was a good family film. As for rental movies, I have been watching the Indiana Jones films. I never tire of them!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Due to my lack of time for writing at present, IQCrash and I have decided to go separate ways. We had a good time writing together and I learned a lot from the experience. In any case, I wish him all the best!
Right now, I am enjoying the time away from the keyboard. I have decided to use this time to catch up on some of the movies I haven't seen. I am also trying to fit in some extra reading.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Speaking of surfing movies, we went to see Surf's Up this week. The critics didn't like it, but we really enjoyed it! We had been planning to watch it since we first saw the previews, because my dad is an old surfer from the 1960s and his name is Zeke - my kids were amused by the coincidence. Anyway, we thought it was a fun movie.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Raising Arizona has been a favorite movie of mine since I was a kid. Do you have a favorite Coen film?
Sunday, June 10, 2007
And then it happened... again. My partner stumbled upon an article about a movie in development with a very similar premise. The movie appears to be stuck in development, but what do I know? In any case, we were unable to find any information about the plot other than a very general overview, but even then the major concept seems fairly identical.
So much for "original". Foiled again! (haha)
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Yet, I had one continuous nagging feeling throughout the process. By the end it was clear to me that I don't give very good notes. I have always tried, but I seem to have fallen short (perhaps here would be a good place to put in an apology to those who have been on the receiving end of my note giving talents). I took notice of the notes I had been given and tried to figure out what made each helpful. I plan to use this information to improve my own skills.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
A Canadian author has sued NBC Universal and director Judd Apatow claiming they ripped off the premise of the hit movie "Knocked Up" from her book of the same name. CNN.com
I don't know the details of this case, but I am going to guess that this sort of thing happens fairly often. If you have a great idea, it is probably safe to assume that at least a dozen people have had the same great idea. Today I read David Anaxagoras' post about shelving a script upon the discovery of several similar scripts in development. After working on one of my scripts I discovered that there were at least four other writers within my small realm of knowledge working on projects with basically the same premise. Truly unique concepts are precious and few.
But even when I was just a struggling writer sleeping on the floor of my apartment, I found working screenwriters to be terrific and generous.
Aspiring screenwriters? A mixed lot, I’m sorry to say. Fear can lead to the dark side. - John August (Screenwriters' Dinner)
I read this comment on John August's blog with interest. I don't want to comment for fear of saying too much, but I will say that I can't disagree with his statement. I have had the fortune of meeting some wonderful aspiring screenwriters. I have also met a few creeps. Fear masquerading as arrogance is no replacement for true confidence or talent. It is nice to have the friendship and support of other people taking a similar journey. I guess the key is avoiding those that reek of desperation.
Monday, June 4, 2007
In any case, today I am beginning to work on a fourth rewrite of my last spec. We received some very interesting and helpful notes over the weekend and I look forward to implementing some of them.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This spring I had hoped to finish the script in time for the Nicholl. I knew placing was a long shot (like one to a zillion), but I thought it would be fun to give it a try anyway. Worst case scenario, I lose a few bucks. After getting off to a slow start, I gave up hope of submitting this year. I was a bit bummed about it, but kept on writing with my eye on 2008. All of the sudden it began rolling. I finish just in time for the 2007 Nicholl... one day before the deadline, to be exact.
Unfortunately, this left no time for it to sit a few weeks and then return to it with fresh eyes. I did the best I could to proof read it (but sometimes my eyes just auto-correct). I also had my sister read it over to look for errors. But, something was missed.
It isn't the end of the world, of course. Yet, I wanted it to be in the best shape it could be in when I sent it out. Too late now.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The worst part of the show was watching the contestants try to pitch based on loglines they had been given. It was actually painful at times. Some of the people clearly had zero knowledge of how to pitch or even what it means. Others were victims of their nerves. I, too, go completely blank when I get very nervous. I cringed for them.
If that was not bad enough, they then had to form groups of three to write, direct, and edit a short film in just 24 hours. Having to work with strangers is very difficult. In college I had fits over group projects (perhaps I don't work well with others). It is unfair to judge someone on the work of others, particularly others that they did not select for any professional merit.
I would have enjoyed the show more if it had shown some of the short films that had been submitted. These challenges were at times interesting, but not what I had expected.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The biggest asset to working with another writer on a project is having two different minds which are generating ideas. One of us will make a suggestion and the other person will improve the concept and so on. There is much to be said for writing chemistry. We have definitely come up with ideas together that we would not have come up with alone.
Yet, when you have two people with different notions of which ideas will work best and which direction to take the story it can be stressful. When do you compromise? When do you fight for a concession from the other guy?
My writing partner and I are currently working on a rewrite of our script. We have both had to bend. In the end, the story is not exactly what either one of us would have written, but it is, hopefully, something better.
So, I will take two aspirin and prepare for our discussion on the latest notes we have received.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
My first script, After Alice, was a dramedy. I was nervous about the comedy aspect. With some help and encouragement from a girl who knows comedy I forged ahead. I ended up with a script that made those who read it laugh. I was funny! Who knew?
I was then approached by my partner to do a comedy. I was a little intimidated by the prospect, but with the little bit of confidence I had gained writing my last script I thought I should go for it. It was a blast. Writing comedy is fun! And whatever our script may or may not be, I think it is funny.
What is up next? I don't know yet. I am at a place where I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I am keeping my mind open to genres that I had not intended to try my hand at writing. Why not?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
This crazy partnership experiment worked. It worked really well. We managed to not only resist the temptation to cause one another bodily harm, but we had a lot of fun! In the process, we learned a lot about our strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to our best advantage. I guess "rebel without a cause and sound of music" do make a good team.
So, what will I be doing with my night off? The same thing I do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!"
Friday, May 11, 2007
What are your thoughts about the announcement?
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
But, my writing partner is not a girl. This makes for an interesting creative dynamic. We bring two different sets of views on life; the girl view and the boy view. I think this adds a lot to the writing.
This also can cause conflict. Here is an example from our discussion last night:
Him: She wouldn't say that.
Me: Yes, she would.
Him: She wouldn't say that. It's cheesy.
Me: Girls say things like that. She would definitely say that.
Him: You love cheese. I'm telling you, she wouldn't say that.
Me: Yes, she would. And she'd cry.
Him: She wouldn't cry.
Me: Yes, she would. A girl would totally cry at that moment.
Him: No. I don't want her to cry. What is wrong with you today?
Me: I have PMS. Do you really want to fight with a girl who has PMS?
Him: I have lost my will to live.
Me: Fine. She doesn't cry.
I lost that one. As Charles De Gaulle would say, "Annabel has lost a battle. But Annabel has not lost the war!"
Friday, May 4, 2007
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
I have toyed with the idea of writing with a partner for awhile. I like the idea of collaborating. Writing is a lonely business and there is something comforting about having someone running the race with you. So, when I was approached with the idea of teaming up I jumped at it.
My writing partner and I are very different people. It is like, "Rebel Without a Cause meets Sound of Music". Yet, it works. We get along swimmingly. We balance each other out.
We are working along at a good steady pace. The first three days we got an amazing amount accomplished considering the amount of time we spent laughing (we think we are quite humorous). Last night we learned the key to writing together is writing separately. It only took an hour and a half of bickering about the description following the introduction of a minor character to figure this out. But, we are back on track now.
We set some very ambitious deadlines. Fortunately, I work pretty well under pressure. Yet, there is that rebellious part of me that balks at writing just because I know I have to do it. Hence the reason I am here talking about writing rather the getting the job done.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I made minor corrections (typos, spelling errors, etc.) on a paper copy yesterday. My sister got out her red pen and went over it to double check. Today I just need to enter those adjustments into FD and it will be ready to mail.
Today I am a screenwriter!!!
Friday, April 27, 2007
In other news...
Once in a while one in our ranks crosses over to the other side. There is excitement. It's a collective high. And it got me thinking...
We are excited for the success of another struggling screenwriter because we know the hard work that goes into it. We appreciate their great talent. We have spent hours chatting together about the challenges we all face in this rat race.
But, I think there is more to it...
The dream we are watching come true isn't just any dream. It is our dream. It reassures us that it is possible to suceed. It gives us hope.
Friday, April 20, 2007
This time I was tagged by IQCrash to list 5 of my goals. This would seem like an easy task, but it really isn't. Which ones should I list? I'll tell you some, but the rest are mine to keep to myself! ;)
1. Raise healthy, happy, successful children
2. Be a good person
3. Sell a screenplay
4. Learn to speak French
5. Lose those 10 pesky extra pounds
Here comes the part where I am supposed to tag some of you. Wait! Don't run off and hide just yet. I have so few readers that I can't afford to scare any of you away -heehee! You get a pass from me.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I am often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” The short answer is: everywhere. It’s like asking, “Where do you find air to breathe?” Ideas are all around you. - Twyla Tharp
It is very interesting to learn where people get their ideas. It is true that many ideas seem to come from out of nowhere. Yet, there is nothing new under the sun, so the idea can surely be traced back to some spark the thinker previously encountered.
A couple of posts down I wrote that I had an idea the neatly wove together the loose ends in my script. I had been brainstorming and mulling the problem over for days. The main problem I was having was trying to logically connect two characters to one another. And then voilà! I knew the answer!
Today I was thinking about the happy moment and I realized something. The idea hadn't come out of thin air. I had watched a rerun of a television show I like... the storyline was somewhat different, but it had sparked the idea in my mind.
So much for my genius!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Movies I have watched the most times...
1. Dirty Dancing
2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
3. Lost Boys
4. French Kiss
5. Better Off Dead
What about you?
Friday, April 13, 2007
Wednesday I went to bed with the satisfaction of knowing that I had 68 rewritten pages. Then I came to the horrible awareness of how I had fixed them. I had tied up the loose ends. I had strengthened my story. I had improved the characters. But, I had done it with duct tape.
I had been struggling with aspects of the story that just would not work. I tried and I tried. Finally, I brought out the duct tape and forced them to stick. There were characters that I tried to mold. I bent them and beat them. They would not arc. Finally, I just taped them up.
I thought that I had figured it all out, but I hadn't.
Then Thursday I had a light bulb moment. It was one of those moments when everything becomes clear. I had an idea so fitting that I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of it before. It doesn't tie up the loose ends. It weaves them into the pattern.
I now find myself back almost at square one. I will be starting to re-write yet again. But, I am not discouraged. I don't care if I rewrite this screenplay 10 times. I care about getting it right.
"There is no great writing, only great rewriting."
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Five Things About the Exciting Life and Times of Annabel Lee
1. Annabel Lee is my legal name, but not my given name.
2. I lived in Japan for almost 6 years.
3. I have had three knee surgeries and need a fourth.
4. I have never lived in the same house for more than 2 years, with the exception of one three year stint.
5. I want to be Nora Ephron when I grow up.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I have spent the past several days revising my outline. I think I have tied up all of the loose ends that were waving wildly in the wind. All in all, I think my story has a clearer, sharper focus.
I have rewritten about 58 pages. There is still a lot of writing to do. I am knee-deep in Act II. Wish me luck!
Saturday, April 7, 2007
I have long struggled with the question of what makes a person a writer.
1. writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)
2. a person who is able to write and has written something
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
I had never considered myself a writer. I had certainly never called myself a writer. I always feared the horrible sequence that would surely follow if I ever had the nerve to make such a declaration. Someone would, no doubt, ask me what I have written. What they would really be asking me is what have I sold or published. I would then have to hang my head and walk away deflated.
This week something changed. Someone called me a writer. It made me think about how I define the word writer and how it applies to me. I realized that I will be writing for the rest of my life, because it is something that I love to do. My writing may one day be purchased and viewed or read by the masses or it might remain forever locked away in my computer. But, in the end it doesn't matter, because I was a writer.
This past week my life was changed because my perspective was changed. Thank you!
Monday, April 2, 2007
1. I struggle trying to do things my way.
2. I ask for advice.
3. I hear the voice or reason and recognise it as such.
4. I continue to struggle to make my way work.
5. I realize that only a fool does not listen to reason and wisdom.
6. I make the needed changes.
Talk about doing it the slow way! I am getting better. I will now occasionally skip steps 4 and 5.
Friday I decided to stop and go back over the notes from Scott. Saturday I implemented another change he had suggested. The script is looking better for it.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I will go back and fix it, but first I have a lot of thinking to do. I know what my character does in the story. In order to correct the problem I need to go back to the why. Why does she do those things? What is her motivation? What is her passion? What is her greatest desire? fear?
I was very depressed about my discovery yesterday. I am still a bit bummed, but it is a lesson. I will correct it and my story will be better. Hopefully, I will be better.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Yesterday I read an interesting post at Alligators In a Helicopter. I am sure Scott has read an unimaginable number of bad scripts (including mine). I find it interesting that so many bad scripts make it into the hands of readers, because I assume that they were given to the studios by agents.
There are only two places I would dare send a script at this point - contests and readers. I sent part of my screenplay to a reader for evaluation. I think it is a great learning tool. I don't feel bad that my script isn't terrific because he knew it wouldn't be when he offered to take it and I was, after all, paying him to tell me how much it sucks. I also hope to enter a few screenplay contests this year. I think contests by nature are fun and exciting. I am paying them, so I don't feel bad if my screenplay isn't fantastic. Contests aren't perfect, but I think they can be a sort of litmus test to tell you when you might be ready to venture into deeper waters.
Why is Hollywood knee deep in bad scripts? My uneducated guess would be desperation. People so badly want to make it that they throw everything they have at it - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Amateur screenwriters are an interesting assortment. It is a dream for some. It is a hobby for others. One day you feel a sense of comradery within the group. Other days you feel like one rat among a million trapped in a sinking boat and all you want is out.
Monday, March 26, 2007
How could two first-rate procrastinators make a May 1st deadline? A bet, of course. How much wisdom there is in making bets with strangers you meet on the internet is a whole other story. For now, I have a bet to win! This isn't just any bet. This is a two tiered bet.
Will it work? Do you want to bet on it?
In the meantime, write on!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I have a new reason to push forward! More on that tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Today, I missed a networking opportunity. I was at the beauty salon and a man walks in for his hair appointment. He begins talking to his stylist about the movie he is about to start working on. My ears perk up, because I am familiar with it. My brother-in-law is an extra on the film, which is about to start filming here.
If I were Mr. William Martell, I would have seized the moment and struck up a conversation with this man. He could have been someone of importance or he could have been a schlep. Either way, he is more connected than I am.
Ugh. This is a dirty business. There is nothing like stepping on the heads of others as you climb the towering ladder of success.
The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore. - Dale Carnegie
In my defence, I did have a head full of foils. I looked like a space creature from a 1960s space flick. So, maybe it wasn't the best time for networking after all!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Back to the story.
He sent me very good notes - clear, constructive, and detailed. There was good news and (of course) bad news. Shall I start with the good news?
He like the premise of my story. That is a great start! But, what made me really happy was discovering that I am self-aware to some degree. The things he said didn't work were the things I knew weren't working. The things he liked, I felt good about as well.
Now for the part where I was shredded. There were characters that weren't working. There were areas of the plot that didn't hang right. A bit of spot-on dialogue. Let me say, I was mortified about the on-the-nose dialogue. It is a something I hate, yet I have a horrible tendency to write that way. It makes me think of my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Callan, who would constantly remind us to show the story and not tell it.
He made several suggestions. Some of his ideas were ones that I had previously considered. He also suggested things that had not occurred to me. I have been mauling them all over for days. I have weighed the options. I feel ready to chose my direction and head out boldly.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
There are many screenwriting blogs I visit. With a few exceptions, my visits are sporadic. Yet, I keep coming back for more. I visit the pros for valuable information and advice. I visit the amateur (or as the optimists say "pre-pro") blogs for encouragement. Writing is generally a lonely undertaking, but it is nice to be able to connect with others that are on the same journey. I like to know that I am not the only one struggling with a scene, a character, an outline ... or fear.
I have nothing valuable to add to the screenwriting world, but I have decided to pour my musings into the abyss. If I alone read this, I hope it helps to push me along and keep me focused. If others happen to stumble upon my page, I hope it encourages them to keep plugging along.
"To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping." - Chinese proverb