25 August 2008

Is This It? Part 4

As bad as my writers block was the first time, it made my second bout look like a walk in the park. I was on the verge of becoming homicidal I was having that much trouble coming up with anything that could even remotely resemble a watchable movie, particurly since I thought I had already just done one.

Finally, just as I was about to give up all hope once again another idea struck me and while I didn’t have it all figured out I sat down and powered through it. As time went along I can honestly say I never had a great feeling about the script but it started to solidify in my mind and with growing pressure from my sister I put all my time into finishing it. At last I thought I had come up with something unique and original, something that met all the criteria of what we could and would want to shoot and even though I had to take a day or two off work to complete it I was satisfied and convinced that this was something workable, something that could be made into an independent feature… I hoped.

Call it brash cockiness or whatever you want but I’ve always been pretty confident in my writing. I mean I know I’m not the next Hemmingway but I do think I’ve been given a gift and I do at least an OK job of using it. As such I’m normally pretty hopeful and optimistic about what I write. That’s why it was so odd when I turned in this new script into Megan. I knew that some parts of it worked but that it was still missing something. I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew it wasn’t there yet and as dumb as this sounds a part of me was hoping that she wouldn’t notice. Fortunately for both of us she did.

Megan will attest to this and for lack of a better term when it comes to my writing my sister and I have what I would call a “flick me on the head” partnership. Invariably I will write something that I think is golden and Megan will read it and like it, she’ll pick out all of the positives and laud the various strengths and gifts I bring to it. She’ll then sit there and completely deconstruct it and show me each and every little error and issue with it until I’m a fuming heap of writer angst. Literally this always ends with me storming away swearing I’ll never work with her again and that I’ll never let her so much as look at anything I write. Invariably though about an hour or two later her constructive criticisms start registering with me, I’ll call her and apologize and then we’ll actually talk about what can be done to fix the problems. Basically she has to both metaphorically and often times physically flick me in the head to make me realize what a jack-ass of a writer I’m being so that I can strip away all the bullshit and write something lean, mean and you know… good. As much as I hate the process and I, as well as the back of my head wishes there was some way around it, said process has yielded positive results every time and I’m a big enough man to admit that my sister’s critical and editorial eye makes everything I write substantially better.

Back to what I speaking of before, while this second script review wasn’t nearly as brutal as the first it was still not very pleasant either and while we both admitted that I had struck on a few good things, for the most part the bloated, over long tome was mainly unusable. Prepared but devastated none the less I returned home realizing that while I wasn’t quite back to square one like I was the last time, I was only a few decimal points off.