Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Writer's Abyss

We've all been there. You just started a screenplay, or are in the planning/outlining stage. You think about the story 24 hours a day. You engage in conversation half heartedly because you're really thinking, 'How can I make the plot twist work in Act II?'. You're in a creative fog, and the real world crashes all around you. When the creative sparks are flying, it's hard to engage in intimate conversation with other people.

Especially for me right now, when the subject matter for my new creation is so dark.

I told Katie I was in the abyss tonight, and I would talk to her about it after the first draft was done. Now I think she's worried that I'm writing "50 ways to murder your girlfriend and have not one soul find out about it". She asked what the story's about , but I had only a vague answer. I said I didn't know, but it was gruesome. And now I'm in a sort of dark/depressed, but high on writing, mood. Nothing seems to be happening to me in real time. It's kind of cool to talk about it while I'm actually in it.

The weird thing is, the dialogue is just flying from my pen like I know what is supposed to be said. I have a weird feeling this will be a major stepping stone for me as a screenwriter. This is around my tenth screenplay. I've finished three. (and numerous shorts) So if everything goes according to plan, this will be my fourth, and maybe that's the magic number where we grow from our humble beginnings, to actually putting it all together. Maybe structure, story and format are perfected through actually doing it.

I wonder if anyone has had that euphoric feeling. A feeling like you know you've gained something invaluable? Or if anyone has been so immersed in a screenplay, that they lose the attention span to endure the real world. And do you get caught up in the mood of the story? If it's a comedy, do you feel happy and jovial? If it's horror, do you feel on edge, or depressed?

Dazed, and somewhat adrift, I move on.....


John Donald Carlucci said...

How about playing the same scene over and over in your head for years? I have the betrayal scene between two lovers caught in my head that causes me to tear up everytime. Try explaining that one!

I have a great scene in my new script that gives me goosebumps and a big smile everytime I run the reel in my head.

Lord, that sounds nuts.


JD said...

It doesn't sound nuts to me. I do the same thing. I have about a dozen or so awesome scenes that I'm constantly trying to fit in my screenplays. I smile every time I think about them. It's like knowing you have good ideas stored away in reserve.

Anonymous said...

Having those visions in my head is how I got into this writing thing in the first place ha!. They just had to get out and on to paper. Right now I am sort of wandering around not saying much, staring off into the distance, letting my coffee go cold. The wife keeps asking me what is wrong but I just focus for a sec and tell her "I'm just thinking about my script."

John Donald Carlucci said...

It was either meds or writing

JD said...

And believe me, the meds leave you with little inspiration. They are zombie makers.