Thursday, April 29, 2010

Call me a quitter, sticks and stones

This picture represents my life the past week - drafting Keys to the Garden and working on my cake decorating class. The cake is my final project for the course. The screenplay is a stack of papers I'd like to burn.

Just kidding.

I decided early this morning that I wasn't going to kill myself over the Nicholl. It's difficult to feel motivated when you wake up feeling like someone woke you up by punching you. All over your body.

Ok, I'm a little disappointed about not being able to finish in time but not much. (1) I'm leaving for a weekend roadtrip tomorrow. So that bumps up the midnight Saturday deadline to early Friday morning. Precious precious hours. (2) I'm finding more problems as I write. Namely that I seem to keep running into the same action sequence. I made some good changes, but it's still going to take some elbow grease to get the new changes ironed out. (3) I never thought I had a shot of winning. I wanted to use this year just to see if I could make it past the first cut. (4) I advanced my draft 35 pages this week alone. From Sunday through Thursday. I'm going to throw out most of the three pages I wrote today, but still I'm happy with the extra shot of motivation.

Here's to keeping it up for the other upcoming competitions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unlikely to finish

Though I made great progress today. 11 pages. Lots of new material.

Also, I'm retitling it. No longer "Guardians" or "Keys to the Garden" or anything like that. Now I'm going to call it "Even Angels Swear."

Progress Report

Sunday, I wrote fifteen pages.


Sometimes, being a binge writer is rewarding. Most of the time it's just frustrating and self-deprecating. But sometimes rewarding.

Yesterday I wrote five. I had modest intentions for yesterday anyway because I had about an hour and a half to write instead of all day and it was all new material. Page thirty-five.

The deadline's Saturday. I'm out of town this weekend. Basically I have to be completely done by Friday morning (notice I did not say Thursday night...). Odds are not in my favour. However, since I'm keeping most of the third act completely intact structurally, I'm crossing my fingers for a speedy finish.

Wednesday I have about zero time as well, so tonight's going to be clutch.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Sometimes life moves very quickly. For someone who lives at home and no friends, I've been incredibly busy the last couple weeks. Which is nice in most respects except (A) I wasn't sure I was going resist collapsing from exhaustion yesterday, (C) I'm completely missed *two* Bones episodes, and (C) the Nicholl deadline is now a week away.


Last time I checked, I think I was on page 12.

One of the most frustrating things about writing is fitting it into the schedule. Trying to balance life and writing and employment requires more grace than I am known to have. Having a job means coming home exhausted and drained. Taking trips means several days that are a complete wash. Pursing other hobbies means less time time to write. Add in friends, and I'm pretty sure I've suddenly become overbooked. There are so many ways NOT to write that it's a wonder anything ever gets written at all.

But it means that those who really want to write will. It takes sacrifice and discipline, something I did not show when I come home last night, threw on sweats, and proceeded to watch several hours of television. The key is balance, though. I don't think that it's worth missing out on life in order to write. The writing relationships is one of the only ones that actually suffers from monogamy.

Oh, and deadlines are incredibly helpful with productivity.

It also helps that I've now finished watching the first two seasons of the BBC Robin Hood series online. I'm going to go through severe bouts of withdrawal now that I have to wait for my DVDs to come in the mail. Netflix is such a tease.

Not gonna lie, I might choose Robin Hood over Mr. Darcy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where I've Been

Michigan. I've spent the last five days in glorious Michigan. Tonight I go home to Jersey. I work two days and then head down to Virginia Beach for the weekend. I'm busy. In lieu of a real post, how about a great song?

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Rewriting can have some good days. Like the days where you gain five pages by cut and paste. Those are good days.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ain't No Line like a Deadline

Last night I had a dream within a dream. Like I woke up once, went about whatever I was doing, and then woke up a SECOND time. I have some crazy dreams, but this is the first time a dream within a dream has ever happened to me. Doesn't that only happen in scary and poorly written movies?

I am not participating in Screnzy this year (I know you all have been on the edges of your seats to know what I decided). I am insanely busy and can barely fit in my regularly scheduled writing, never mind a completely fresh story I hadn't even thought of yet. Screnzy, you're so much fun. Maybe next year.

Because, oh how productive deadlines can make me! Former screenwriting professor recently emailed me details to a screenwriting contest. They were giving a discount particularly to Michigan students. This weekend I thought maybe I had a shot of cleaning up Keys to the Garden in time (when, of course, I haven't even started my draft), but welcome to reality, Amy, you're not in college anymore where you can spend 7 hours at the coffee shop writing for your day of deadline.

Those days were so awesome.

Juggling a job, a life, and my writing doesn't allow for that anymore. But did this contest I won't be able to enter get my butt in gear? Heck yes. I wrote 7 pages yesterday. I got through my inciting incident. If I can keep this self discipline up, maybe I can finish the new draft of Keys by the end of the month, which I NEED to do because that's the Nicholl deadline.

So the deadline to a contest I won't be able to enter will have me pushing to finish my script by April 11th, the deadline for Creative Screenwriting's contest, which I will fail to reach because of the rest of my life, BUT it will give me enough momentum to finish in time for the Nicholl.

It's nice to know that I need THREE deadlines in order to complete one draft. But truly, self imposed deadlines just don't work as well as real deadlines do.