09 March 2010

Frenzied, Frazzled and Fantastically Inspired

First off, some apologies:

Mr. Toast - I failed to produce yet another piece of art for Creative Tuesdays. My head is hung in shame.

Willow - for one reason or another, I have YET to post another story for the Magpie. My head is hung even lower in shame.

There. Now to help me pick my head up out of the dirt, I want to say thanks to the comments from Friday's post. It's a topic that's really been on my heart lately. My work in progress (or rather, my finished trilogy that glares at me from across the room) just isn't cutting it. I've edited it, I've renamed it, I've even rewritten it to no avail. I'm not trashing it. I'm not even giving up on it. I'm just putting it aside. I know what it needs but I don't have what I need to take it apart, give it a new voice, paint it a deeper shade of blue. The requires lots of tools, time, paint stripper, elbow grease, and voice lessons. What better way to remove myself from this project then to dive into another.

I posted last week about A Book in a Month, a splendid guide to writing a novel in 30 days. It is a fabulous book. But it, too, has to go by the by...for now.

I've had this dream for a year now about a story. I'm not quite sure of the ins and outs, but I know how it feels, how it looks, what it tastes like. I can smell it. Sometimes, I even see the characters. The vision causes me to burst into tears in movies that wouldn't normally cause me such emotion. Or, maybe they would, for a different reason.

I have literally dreamed this story three times. THREE. For me, that's sort of a magic number. If I dream about, hear about, experience, stumble upon, what have you anything three times I feel (honestly and deeply) that God is trying to get my attention in that area. He could just hurl the universe at me but instead he quietly slips little, serendipitous notions that all point back to one, central theme. This story is one of those.

As I said, I don't know the details, but I do know the emotions, the colors, the senses. And that's what I'm going to start with. I'll be outlining and constructing a skeleton, laying the architectural groundwork for the rest of this month. And then...and then...

I'm going to do something absolutely mad! Many of you know NaNoWriMo. Many of you participated and completed it. I signed up for it but focused, instead, on my trilogy. I did complete the edits I was hoping for so all was not lost. I got a message from the creators of NaNo this morning announcing a little thing called ScriptFrenzy.

Did you read that right? Script?

Yes. You did.

My new story, my dream, my obscure, insubstantial dream is begging to become a screenplay.

See, I told you I was mad.

But then again, we're all mad here", said the cat to Alice. Yes. And I'm in spectacular company.

Writing a screenplay has always been a secret desire of mine. Now the cat's out of the bag (Cheshire cat?) and I'm putting the announcement here for several reasons:

1) I need some solidification on this monumental venture. I've never even attempted to write a screenplay before. I have a Dummies book on it. I read M. Night Shyamalan's book about his journey to Lady in the Water. I watch the Oscar's every year and cheer for the screen writer's category. Other then that, I'm clueless.

2) I need encouragement. Have any of you even attempted this before? If not, I honestly don't blame you. It's another animal all together. I once mentioned it to my writing mentor and she told me it was crazy but if anyone could do it, I could. She said that often. She believed in me. I miss her terribly.

3) I will need a place to rant about this adventure. Congratulations, you're it.

4) I have commitment issues. They say admittance is the first step to healing. Well, there you have it. When it comes to making a decision, I waver like a ship tossed at sea. Not any more. The decision is made. From April 01 - 30 I'm working on a script.

Do I have any expectations? Just to finish. 100 pages in 30 days. Beyond that, we'll see. I just want to do this, to remove myself from my usual canvas and explore other worlds. I may hate it. I may love it. I may curse the day I ever saw a movie! I may pursue it further. Who knows.

All I know is that I've need a change in scenery for a long, long time. Finally, I've found a trip worth taking.

Here goes nothin'.

PS: If you have not seen Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, drop everything and run like mad to your nearest theatre to see it. It is visually astounding, richly thematic and beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful! It revived my waning creativity in a way I haven't experienced in several years. Movies do that for me in a way books can't. It is a creative feast! Enjoy :)
PPS: I actually posted a story for Willow's Magpie Tales. The apology, however, still stands because I've been lax in doing so before now. Find it over at Sagewood Manor.


Terresa said...

I plan to go & see Burton's Alice as soon as humanly possible. My creative juices could use some shaking & stirring.

And screenplay? I say go for it!!!!

Amanda Cooper said...

Good luck with your screenplay! I've never had guts enough to try and write one, although I do find the idea appealing (in a very challenging way).

Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Karen Walker said...

Sending you boatloads of encouragement, Jen. Sometimes we need to set aside one project because another calls to us. And trying new genres is scary, let me tell you, cause I'm trying fiction for the first time. You just go and do what your heart is telling you to do. We'll be here,cheering you on.

Brian Miller said...

good luck with the screenplay...never tried it, but i will definitely cheer you on. have not read shamylad's book either, will check into that...and alice, have yet to see but can not wait...

maggie's garden said...

The focus of our attention determines our life experiences. Where we put our attention, we put our energy. Where we put our attention, we put our consciousness. We draw into our lives the thing to which we give our attention, whether we want it or not. We seed the thing or idea that has our attention. That seed grows into the experiences of everyday life.
I posted this on my blog, and I think it applies here. If you focus on wanting this'll be sure to get there. I'll be waiting to see you pick your Oscar!
Best wishes for you,

Elana Johnson said...

Wow - a script?? I wouldn't even know where to start. But somehow, I think you'll nail it. Good luck!

Still waiting to see Alice. Probably this weekend though. Glad you approve.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Dear fellow scriptwriter, Ahhh! I can't believe we're changing paths at the same moment. Do you read Alexandra Sokoloff's blog? Today's post is on writing the opening scene/act. She's sort of talking to novelists and getting them to think in terms of acts, writing your novel like a screenplay. It was working wonders for me as I begin my coffee shop drama.

During the Oscars I was also cheering extra loud for the best original screen play writer. whoo hooo!

Enjoy the new energy!!!!!!!!!!!

Kristie Cook said...

Sending encouraging and creative vibes your way. Screenwriting is one of those things in the back of my mind that I keep dismissing. Maybe one day...but no time soon. I admire you for taking this jump. Good luck with it!! And keep us updated.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I think this sounds like a wonderful act of courage, a bold adventure, and a much needed change for you. You have my full support and encouragement (not that you need it, but you have it). :-)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

A screen play sounds very exciting. You paint brilliant pictures with your words. I don't see any reason why you couldn't tell your stories through dialogue and stage direction.

Lin said...

WOWIE!! That is really cool, Jen! Good for you!! I know you can write a screenplay and so do you. ;) Now, go do it.

ali said...

Ha! I wasn't a follower either! For shame on both of us ;)

I am so freakin' excited for you and screenplay idea! Goooood luck!!!

The something new *I'm* trying is a graphic novel. I've wanted to do one for a while, but for a lot of reasons have generally avoided it. No longer, I think.

And your courage to try something new, has me inspired!

ajgallion said...

Hey Jen -- I actually bought the book in a month guide, and was really psyched to write my book in a month, but alas -- it sits on the shelf awaiting our reunion. I, too, hang my head in shame!

Glynis said...

Good luck with script writing, boy you are brave!

Kristi said...

Oooohhh...your project sounds exciting! I can't wait to hear how it progresses!

Yay for creative inspiration! And for taking chances.