I read over my writing goals for 2016 and I’m pleased to report I’ve made some progress! I am going great guns on getting the first draft done of my first screenplay. I’m just about up to the third act, having just about ruined my protagonist’s life (well, at least she thinks it’s ruined). I’ve got about 15 pages to write and it will be done. Of course, that’s when the real hard work begins! Killing my darlings, garrotting my clichés and ensuring every scene is doing its job in propelling the story to a satisfying conclusion. That’s the hardest part, I think. Writing a conclusion that a) ‘works’, b) isn’t too obvious and c) that leaves a lasting impression in the reader/viewer’s mind. Then I have to go back to the beginning and make sure the first two acts lay sufficient groundwork for the final act. And then back to the beginning again to check the whole thing still makes sense. No sweat!
A few people have asked me, ‘why screenplays’? The chances of getting your story made into a feature film are worse than being struck by lightning. There’s a much better chance of getting a novel published. And, if you can’t, you can always self-publish. Better than your story mouldering away somewhere on a hard drive (not sure if hard drives can moulder, but no one has a screenplay sitting in their bottom drawer any more, do they?). Well, the answer is two-fold: first, I think the time is right for more stories to be told about women, especially about how they navigate modern relationships in an era where existing relationship rules are starting to seem very antiquated; and second, there are a lot of very talented actors out there in their late 30s/40/50s who are tired of being passed over for roles or not finding any roles that stretch them and their art – many of them have set up their own production companies. Wonderful actors like Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Rose Byrne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sandra Bullock, Queen Latifah, Drew Barrymore have stakes in or own their own prodcos. They need stories to tell. I am a storyteller, so you never know, right? And, I figure, if I can’t get any of my stories to producers, I can always rewrite my screenplays as novels/novellas. That’s one way to stretch your writing chops and demonstrate your versatility! Of course, I could always try to make my own films, but for me, an introvert, that way madness lies! Think I’ll stick to writing :)
How are your creative efforts coming along in 2016?