Real Life

Have you heard anything yet? …Oh. Really?

Amazing how fast non-writers think publishers will get to written work. Can’t quite convey to them how unusual it is just to receive confirmation that your work was received. It’s like watching yourself the first time after you’ve sent something out. There’s the same naive innocence, thinking you’ll hear something right away. There’s the same disappointed reaction when they learn there’s been no response. And then that questioning light comes up in their eyes – Are you sure you’re doing the right thing? Maybe you should just get a job.

Goddess!

Meanwhile….

Thought explosion. In the past 48, I’ve edited my script (in my head; the file is untouched but I know exactly what I want/need to do), outlined three new scripts, contemplated writing scripts for comic books (again), given serious contemplation to working my good theatre scripts into movie scripts, and written a character analysis of my role in the upcoming theatre production.

Strengths: I kill at the one-act length. Just nail it, every time, almost right down to the word. My work with the radio drama has unleashed full 3D into my writing. No longer is it just dialogue and stage directions; now there’s sound and lighting effects, too. I’m thinking outside the box of the theatre. I also think I’m beginning to master what I’ll call the ‘Lillian Hellman’ effect – the story is in what the characters don’t say, rather than what they do say.

Weaknesses: Fear. There’s my number one problem. Can I turn out a full length whopper of a story by treating it as three individual one act pieces? Can I even write a story that fully, or will it end up being 90% fluff just to fill the allotted time? Always worried I’ll ask too much of the actors or stage crew, too. Working with the local group has reminded me how small and amateur these things can get. Lovely to plan out a big scene with sound, lights, and make-up – but if only the biggest theatres can do it, I’m writing myself out of a lot of work.

My only recourse is to open myself up to any and every opportunity. I didn’t think I could ever write a thriller, yet here I am, author of what I think are two very tight and suspenseful tales [note: the current script began as horror, but I realized the line between horror and thriller is written in blood – which takes me back to my concerns over asking too much of special effects, so I let the idea go and just wrote it as a thriller]. Do the work for the full length play on historical female figures. Research, outline, give it a shot. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But try. Try your hand at 10 minute scripts. 15 minute scripts. See a story that piques your interest? Write it. Fuck the end product; just write it – keeping it tight, keeping it small, keeping in mind that most theatres are on the brink of death and they don’t want big productions right now.

…Pulling myself back into real life is tough. Real life is so flat compared to writing life. Writing life is intense, full of passion. Real life is slow. Slothfully slow. It creeps by, waiting for you to pick up something to keep yourself occupied for just a fraction of each day.

Meh. We all know which one I prefer. Give me writing life for real: no down time, not even any bathroom breaks (you never read about sitting on the toilet for five minutes every day in a story). Just action, feeling, reaction. And no financial concerns. Need to fly to Rome for something? Of course you can afford it. Just go. No colds, either. Life threatening illnesses…yes. Common colds…no. All black and white, just as we writers intended it (not) when we first put black ink down on white paper.

So easy to cut through the shit on paper.

So difficult in real life.

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