Friday, 9 November 2012

Process, or: writing is rewriting

Warning - slightly rambling train of thought follows.

Writing can be really easy sometimes, or really hard.  If I've got a specific idea in mind for how a scene goes, then sometimes it just flows out onto the page, and it works great.  Other times, it can drip, and no amount of coaxing helps.  Maybe I just have to accept that some days will go better than others.

One of the things that can make stuff harder, for me anyway, is characterisation.  When I'm writing a scene, I try to be in everyone's head, and have the whole conversation.  I tend to get very attached to all the characters, and that usually means that if I'm writing a stressful, depressing, or angry scene, the characters' emotions can get a bit overwhelming at times.  More than once, I've had to walk away for a cup of tea to try and calm myself down.

I guess this is partly what's taking so long as far as progress on the next projects goes.  Writing is, or can be, a hard thing to get right.  In the case of these current scripts, rewrites - maybe a lot of rewrites - are going to get done before they're ready for performance.  Fortunately, I have plenty of people to hand I can throw things at and get feedback.

Someone once told me that, "a screenplay is never finished; it is only abandoned," but I think "abandoned" might be the wrong word.  It's not about just walking away - but you need to be able to recognise when there's enough there for it to stand up on its own.

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