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Sunday, December 04, 2005


So I knew which script I was going to write next.

And I even found old notes on the idea that pretty well mapped out the plot -- and it's good. I mean, all twisty and turny and fairly solid.

And I bought Blake Snyder's Save the Cat and decided that for this experiment I was going to work my way through it, in order, doing exactly what he said. Because you see, I've never plotted/planned a screenplay out in advance before. Not to the degree he recommends. I plotted out novels when I was selling them off proposal, but that was not only different, it also left all sorts of room for frolicking away from the outline and into foreign territory, and that's not good for what I'm doing now.

And I wrote a logline (hate hate hate doing that) sort of, meaning, I kind of wrote one but am not sure if I love it. And I kept working my way through the book, and was close to beginning writing -- and I got excited when I saw nic's "script status bar" and got the html from her and posted my own with the title (Ash Wednesday -- do you like that at all as a thriller title?) and was all ready to go when --

A voice of authority (or rather, a manager) said of the logline, "Eh, sounds too psycho-sexual."

Like that's a bad thing? Heh.

And that's going on the assumption that the logline isn't misleading.

But that's okay -- I figure okay let's not waste time writing a script for which there might not be a market so I pulled the title off and left the status bar over there waiting for a new title, a new project, and now it's nagging me, haunting me, saying, "I"M still sitting on 0% and not only do you not have a title or a logline, you don't even have an IDEA."

I haven't decided whether that status bar is a good thing or a bad thing.

Okay, so I have ideas, I always have ideas, but I don't have THE idea. (And this reminds me of why I have so much down time between projects, because I can never make up my mind what to write next because I want it to be THE idea, THE script, and nothing measures up, and I spin my wheels and spin and spin and spin....

So. I've decided that if I don't have an idea I am absolutely in love with by January 15, I will write the thriller. I'll give myself three months to do it. And maybe during that three months I'll come up with another idea for when I'm finished. Because a project with a title, a logline and especially an outline is a terrible thing to waste.

Unless I fall in love with another idea before January 15.


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Rob said...

My advice is don't wait. If you're inspired by the thriller and itching to write, write it.

I've got a few ideas brewing that my manager thought were very commercial but while I try to outline them, this new one, The Sequel started gnawing at me. I figured, what the hell? Why not write 3 scripts at the same time. It may be a total failure of an experiment and odds are, when one gets close to being done, the others will likely sit until that gets done. But at least I'm writing.

Give it a whirl. If you get 20-30 pages into the thriller and you get THE idea, you can always table the thriller for a while (you've done that before).

I think Ash Wednesday is a cool title and from what I've seen of the logline, it sounds like a neat creepy concept.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Rob said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger pooks said...

Thanks, Rob -- I'm glad for the feedback. I've decided there's no reason I can't work on this while doing other things and if, as you say, The Idea for The Script comes along, I can backburner Ash Wednesday.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger lacy said...

i'm with rob. i think just get started if you feel it. if it doesn't work how you want it to, jump to something else. or start something new. always better to be writing than planning or thinking about writing.
but, rob, maybe three at once is one too much. i think two at once is pretty hard but kind of doable. dunno...just my thought.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger pooks said...

Three at once sounds like a lot to me, too, but ya never know until you try. Two at once sounds impossible to me -- once I really get into the world I'm writing about deeply and emotionally enough, there's not room for two, I don't think. However I know a psychologist/writer who swears that two at once is perfect. She claims when she's mentally exhausted with one world/project and has to close it, she can open the second and gets totally energized for the new world/project as if she's starting fress for the day. But then she's a shrink and we all know shrinks are crazy. (looking over my shoulder for a shrink)

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Odds are I'll end up with two at once just because I know I need to eat, sleep, see the family, etc. from time to time.

I'm usually very disciplined about outlining major story beats before starting a new script but I'm also so anal retentive it annoys even me sometimes.

I'm just giving myself permission to start these things and see where they take me.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger pooks said...

I think we're trading processes this time, Rob.


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