Thursday, June 23, 2011

More progress and some good news

Okay, folks, I'm officially closing in on the first plot point, and at just about the right time (according to plotting experts), because after writing an additional 2,081 words yesterday, I now have my first draft 17% complete!
As part of my never-ending campaign to derail my own progress, I've been worrying a lot the last few days because the writing is coming so easily. Not that it doesn't take me a lot of hours to come up with each day's words--it does--but I'm not actually struggling, and it seems like I should be. After all, didn't Gene Fowler say, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead?"

Well, so far, I'm digging deep for what I'm writing and I like what I'm doing--a lot--but I'm nowhere near bleeding. And yes, I know this sounds stupid, so please feel free to make a doll with a lock of my hair and stick pins into it to your heart's content. That might at least provide me with something legitimate to complain about.

In other news, I just found out that I have advanced to the second of three
rounds in a screenplay competition! It's the Screenwriter's Challenge hosted by and it started with several hundred competitors divided into 25 heats. Each heat was randomly assigned a writing prompt that included the genre, a subject, and a character. Then we had eight days to produce a short script of up to 12 pages. It had to be properly formatted and had to utilize the information in the prompt.

My script managed to land among the top five in my heat, so now it's on to round two: tonight, I'll receive a new prompt with a new genre (I hope--the last one was Romance, and I hate writing that), a new subject, and a new character. Then I will have just three days to produce a screenplay of up to eight pages. This is going to be a lot more difficult, since the shorter the script, the more condensed must be the story that you tell.

If I survive this round, I'll get a new prompt and will have just 24 hours to create a five-page screenplay. Won't that be fun? (stabs self in eye)

The cool thing about this contest--other than the cash prizes for the top four winners--is that each writer is guaranteed to receive professional feedback (in the movie industry, this is known as "coverage") from the judges who evaluated their script(s). So even if you didn't make it past round one, you'll get some constructive criticism from an industry professional out of the deal. They are promising to deliver round one's feedback by the end of next week. I'll be looking forward to mine, since this is my first real screenplay attempt and I really don't know what I'm doing.

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