Saw Red State followed by a Q&A with Kevin Smith.  He has always been an inspiration.  That coupled with how disappointing events at work have been lately have motivated me to start writing.  I have written 2 screenplays, 1 produced and it has always been my passion.  But with my ADD/procrastination it is always on the back burner.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a teacher but I need to branch out creatively, I am signing up for Improv class at UCB in September and am excited about that.   Anyway, I got up this morning and wrote the first to pages of my new screenplay.

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My research for my latest screenplay is not going as well as I had plan. The story is based on events that happened in the 1600’s and there isn’t much out there. I know I could make it up, but that is not what I want. So while I am researching, I am writing treatments for the other ideas that I have (roughly 10-12). Some of the ideas are old and have made it to the screen in some form or fashion, just not by me. Its all part of our collective unconscious I guess. It just feels good to be writing again and, after teaching all day, it is easer to write a treatment than read 400-year-old books. I am also working on a children’s book with my 8-year-old daughter.

More on that later.

-S

Writing + Teaching=???

How are you doing? You look great. I love your hair like that, did you change it?

First off, thanks to Shawna over at Shouting into the Wind for her concern about my absence.

Well, school is in full swing and I have been a little busy. Last year I taught reading all day which was nice because there wasn’t much grading to do at night. This year will be filled with essays and grammar! To make things more exciting, I took on the freshman English class the day before school started, so I am still prepping for the year. Luckily, we have a great team of teachers, and last year, they mapped the entire year out.

So where does that leave writing? Not sure yet. I just received an email from Warren about The Screenwriting Life’s Group Script Project, and I’m up next, after Shawna. I haven’t read the pages so far because I didn’t want to get any ideas early on that couldn’t be worked into the script. I can’t wait to read it and add my two cents! I have stopped the rewrite on INSECURE there is too much there. I wrote in over a three-year period so it is a bit garbled and disjointed. My wife gave me some great notes on it but I have no idea where to begin. I am going to send it to my friend, Brian this week and get his take on it. He doesn’t know this yet, so Brian, if you’re reading this, would you mind?

I have started my second screenplay which is tentatively called THE WANDERING HOUR. I have actually started work on this in screenplay and novel form and I am still not sure which way I will go.

So that is what I have been up to. Next up is my 10-year wedding anniversary on October 7th. Pam and I are going up to Monterey to a bed and breakfast.

I hope everyone is doing well and I write soon.

-S

Rewriting Help

Okay. I am going to get this second draft done.

I think that this script has potential, but it needs some serious tweaking. Where do I start? Right now, I have a three-column list labeled keep, lose, and add. I am trying to figure out what stays, what goes and what else I need.

A big problem in the first draft is character motivation. Halfway through, I realized it needed to be stronger so I made some changes. Didn’t work. I am probably going to lose half of the story and my dark comedy is tuning into an ensemble comedy.

If anyone has some words of wisdom on the rewriting process, I would love to hear them.

-S

Escaping from the Procrastination Nation

Well, it’s been a few weeks and I still haven’t started to work on draft two. Every time I sit down to write I end up doing something else. I saw that David, over at Man Bites Hollywood, has a cool screenplay progress bar and I thought that maybe a visual reminder would motivate me. Yes, I realize that this is also procrastination. What do you expect? I can’t quit cold-turkey!

So, now we can see how much (or how little) I have written.

-S

I know, I know.

I haven’t posted in a while. I was going to wait to post until I finished the second draft. Well, that is going s-l-o-w-l-y. I finished the first draft during spring break, but now that I am back in the classroom it is hard to focus on writing. The girls are going to be gone for an entire Saturday in a couple of weeks and I will finish it then, if I haven’t already.

This is part head-game and part motivation on my part. See, if I finish the second draft by then, I can call some buddies and go play that day. If not, then I get to write.

We will jut have to see if it works.
-S