From the slang words of the Cockney’s – it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong in the screen writing arena.
I am admitting defeat on this challenge and putting it to bed (and not death as I had been pondering).
Although it’s only the 22nd today and I have another eight days in my favour, the screen writing piece I have been working on not going anywhere, and as I’m away for three of those days it’s better to move on sooner rather than later with this.
Not that I feel all that bad to be honest. I have completed 14,066 words which equate to 53 pages (unformatted) of screen writing creativity. I was hoping to reach to 20,000. In fact I’d have been pretty chuffed to have made it to 15,000 but it’s just not going to happen.
I realised quite early on that the Stephen King story I had chosen to adapt was going to be a far bigger challenge than I first realised and without any planning it’s just not possible to complete it in 30 days straight.
However, all is not lost. Especially when I’ve learnt quite a lot from this challenge.
- Screenwriting/Scritpwriting is a lot harder than I realised. I’ve done research into how scripts should be drafted and planned but there appear to be that many different ways it got too confusing. Some said to structure to a three act, while other said that was rubbish. Clearly more in-depth research on this needs to take place. Yes, I was looking for the easy answers and probably, as a learner, should have just stuck to one instructor/screenwriter. In the end, when I heard it takes a lifetime to hone this craft I realised I might be out of my depth. Suddenly the fun disappeared.
- Plan. When I free styled my writing I went off like a rocket and there was no stopping me but without any structure I was relying heavily on King’s short story to make sure I stayed on track. If I had made my own structure, based on the story, I could then have created more characters, brought in more scenes (which I did anyway), and generally get to the 30,000 words without a hitch. Of course I could write the last 15,934 words in subconscious mode but it would take another three months to then format it and get it back into a structure. I didn’t realise just how much the plan is the writing and I’d left it too late.
- Writing regularly. I can’t complain on this score but that nagging feeling of writing without planning was constantly a hindrance to my writing. A lot of the time it was start and stop, start and stop…I’d stop to check, to read, to make sure everything read properly. Usually I’d just write and not bother to read it until the end. My regularity was okay but it could always have been better. I don’t know how true this is because I haven’t read Stephen Kings biography but apparently he gives himself a quota of 2,000 words a day to fill. Once he’s reached that he’s happy. He then goes on to say that you need to find time to read and write for between four to six hours a day. I find that so interesting because 2,000 words don’t sound a lot but when you’re trying to find those words, it literally can take all six hours!
- I love gardening. I’m adding that one in because this weekend I had the chance to write but I spent the time in the garden which proves not only how much I needed to be outside in the sunshine after such a long winter but that gardening has a strong motivational pull for me. More so than writing. Maybe it’s no coincidence that I achieved a 50,000 writing word goal last November!
I’ve enjoyed the writing I have achieved, no doubt about that.
I will continue working on the screen play but without a deadline.
I believe the words I’ve written so far, obviously need lots of editing but give me a good core base from which to work from, and I also believe the characters and the way I have written them within the script are very believable. I also truly believe that particular short story of King’s would make a great movie.
Working full time in itself would still allow me those all important four to six hours of writing time. It’s just a case of good organisation and using all ‘free time’ effectively – if that was my only passion. Alas, I also have others (este blog being one).
While I can’t achieve every single challenge I set myself, if I’ve learnt something from it then I reckon I’ve still achieved something.