Sunday, September 07, 2008

Neurotic

I've had a lot on my mind recently that's been stressing me out. It's funny how suddenly neurotic you can become (and by you I mean me). Luckily, if things are on your mind, it means that you're thinking them through, and are hopefully making some sort of progress...

Tomorrow my screenwriting II class starts. I'm very excited. I'm a bit torn about which script I want to rewrite, the 4:05 or Collapse. I was a better writer when I wrote Collapse, but it's kinda depressing and the 4:05 is much more cheery and whimsical and needs more work. I'm still secretly planning on trying to rewrite both of them.

I was having a hard time thinking about my next script. Sometimes my anxiety level skyrockets, which just freaks me out even more because what would a real writer have to worry about? So as I struggled to come up with new ideas, I also tried to figure out what was bothering me so much. What was I afraid of? Failing? And with that my next story started to fall together.

Because this is what I realized. My best scripts, the ones that are the most well written, the ones that I love the best, come from questions and issues that I struggled with, and I will connect with them again and again because of what they mean to me. That's why I'm willing to rewrite the 4:05 as many times as it takes or return to Collapse for another semester. And just because the story is so closely connected to my life doesn't mean that it won't resonate with others. There's the screenwriting advice that says the more specific you make a story the more universal it becomes. Yes, the stories are particular to me and my life, but the issues of love and loss and fear, those belong to everyone. You have to find motivation for your story. You have to find a reason for it to be told and the fortitude to keep coming back to it again and again. Without a personal connection to a story, you're never going to be able to see it through satisfactorily.

So what's my new story going to be like? It's Atonement meets the Matrix meets the Old Testament. Come on now, who doesn't want to hear it?

1 comment:

catherine said...

sounds brilliant! i wish i had some of that brilliance right about now...i can't come up with good fiction to save my life right now. argh