Around the Writer’s Block

Odd Todd was certainly right when he noted that screenplay writing is tough. For a moviemaker (or cinéaste, as I’ve taken to calling myself), it would seem that this skill would be a pretty basic requirement, but that argument doesn’t seem to make inspiration come any faster.

I wrote my first (and, to date, only) feature-length screenplay (Holding Pattern, né Quartered) for the original Project Greenlight contest, and I have yet to completely “finish” it. Oh, I submitted it to the original contest (and got knocked out in the first round), as well as the second (still getting knocked out early, but at least with a little more positive coverage), but I’ve never been able to sit back and move past it. It always seems that with just a little more tweaking, it’d be just right. So far, I’ve resisted the urge to alter it since the last contest, but that doesn’t mean I’ve moved on to anything else. I’ve even toyed with the idea of writing short stories featuring some of the characters in the screenplay; I tell myself that it’ll help flesh out their personalities, but I suspect that it’s truly just a way of hanging on just a bit longer (naturally, were one of these stories to actually help with the characters, that would necessitate another rewrite of the larger piece, and I’d be back where I started).

I did write a short-subject screenplay adaptation of a friend’s original story (with the intention of our actually producing the movie), but beyond an initial stab, it’s remained in limbo. I’d like to revisit that as well, but it doesn’t induce the same feeling of attachment as my own piece — it holds far less of my emotional content, being both (a) short and (b) somebody else’s idea (I’m not planning to direct the movie in any case).

I’m hopeful that these ramblings will allow me to develop some idea of where to go next. Or where not to go. Or at least allow me to go somewhere in the first place.


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