Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Did It! I Did It! I Did It!

I have finished writing my first completed feature! I did it! This excites me for many reasons. First, it is done in time for the Nicholl. A few weeks ago I had given up all hope of making the deadline. I began writing screenplays over a year and a half ago and had yet to write an entire feature. This one I began last July and I now finally get to see the results of all that effort. But, the thing that excites me most is that I stuck with it. I am a girl with a million ideas, but no follow through. I am notorious for starting projects and then dropping them. But, not this time! This time I did it!

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

A Little Thing Called Hope

I am approximately 2 to 3 pages short of a completed spec. It still needs some polishing, but it is almost finished. I am a happy girl! I will be mailing it off to the Nicholl on Monday. I don't anticipate placing, but I am excited anyway. It is a step.

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

Tagged Again

I'm like a sitting duck over here ;)

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

Ideas Are All Around You

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 voilĂ ! 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

Over and Over

Today I was thinking about movies I love. That lead to me thinking about the movies I have watched the most amount of times. The movies I have watched over and over again aren't necessarily my favorites, but I thought it was interesting. Most of my repeat viewing occurred during my preteen years, but I still do it on occasion.

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

Duct Tape Solutions and Light Bulb Moments

My father is of the belief that anything can be fixed with duct tape. He has spent his life putting action behind that notion. Has this love of the duct tape solution affected yet another generation?

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."
Justice Brandeis

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Games People Play

I was tagged by Matt Hader to name 5 things about myself.

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

Hindsight is 20/20

I received some very helpful notes last week! I realized that I had made a major mistake. I had made adjustments to my story shortly after I began writing it. I then made more adjustments after getting notes from Scott the Reader. Each time I made tweaks here and there to change certain aspects of the story. In retrospect, I should have done more than tweaking. I needed to go back and alter the outline from top to bottom (or bottom to top).

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

If anyone asks...

... tell them I'm a writer.

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


This is how I tend to work:

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.