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Thursday, March 03, 2005



I started working on my screenplay again this week after a long hiatus. I don't think I've ever mentioned my screenplay here before. I started working on it last year, and for a while there I was working on it every day, but then I shared it with my husband, and even though he was incredibly supportive, it shut me down for a while. He just had very different reactions to my characters than what I was expecting; namely, he wasn't that interested in my main character, and he really liked her roommate, who I was trying to paint as the antagonist for much of the story. Not good.

Of course, part of what appeals to me about screenwriting is that you're writing a blueprint for other artists to interpret -- so in theory, the fact that my husband interpreted it differently than how I intended shouldn't have been surprising, or depressing. But it made me rethink how I was bringing my characters to life - in particular, my main character is an introvert, so I started wondering the best way to offer a window into her inner life without making her overly talkative, and in a way that made her interesting...

I got scared off for a while - I think sharing a draft somehow broke the spell I'd been under. But for the past few weeks I've been itching to get back to it. This is the first thing I've ever written where I actually live with the characters in my head. Fiction writers I've known have always talked about having their characters in their heads and I couldn't imagine what that would be like; now I think about my characters all the time, about what they need, what they feel, what they should do. Improv has given me a lot of inspiration, because it makes me think about the dynamic of a scene -- the status of the characters, their motivations -- and about the dialogue (one character makes an "offer," or injects information...another character "accepts," or validates what the first character says and establishes his/her own character with his/her response).

Anyway, I picked up my screenplay for the first time in a while earlier in the week, and I'm trying to write a page a day - so far so good, and it's good to be back...screenwriting is by far the most enjoyable kind of writing I've ever done. Other kinds of writing are satisfying, or fulfilling, but this is *fun*.

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