Cleanse the Palate

I thought it would be appropriate with the previous post to add one more to the mix.

I am in the process of editing a script and moving through the swamp of it’s structure and I decided to start another script on the side to keep my writing chops fresh.

I began working on an idea that has been around for a while now and found myself slogging through it immediately. Fortunately, I immediately knew the reason was because too much detail had formed and I couldn’t deviate too far from the plan without blowing the whole thing.

So, I put it to the side and started fresh this morning on a new one. No plan or idea; I am starting from scratch and open to discovering it along the way.

I think this is an important and healthy thing for writing. I hate to hold too tightly to The Idea or to The Structure. I like to be able to write freely and let whatever happen. If I feel like killing off my main character, I will damn well do it.

But, I need to commit myself to it. I am not one for writing exercises. Everything I write has to be considered a possible product, no matter how crazy or outlandish it becomes. So, therefore, I have to see the writing all the way to a full script.1 And if this is a new experience for you, you feel what little effort it actually takes to get to the end of 120 pages (more on this for another day).

If you find yourself in a slump, not doing the work, commit yourself to fill 120 pages with whatever comes to mind. Push it through to the end and be willing to let anything happen. I also describe my first experience doing this as the kitchen sink” script.

I started this morning and I am at page 5. I will update my progress. I hope you try it. Good luck and let me know your progress.

  1. I usually set out for 120 pages but if I am at 110 and I know the story is done, I will let it go.↩︎

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