a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chasing The Good Idea

So I've been in something of a writing rut recently.

Mostly it's a time management problem. Work is busy, and when I'm busy, I don't have the time to write, while I'm so burned out thinking about other people's scripts that I don't want to tackle mine.

(My mother is right, I should have become an accountant).

I took the weekend off to take my wife south for her birthday, and we had a relaxing time knocking around the area about 25 miles north of San Diego.

We did go to the Del Mar track for a while, but honestly it's not the most user-friendly track; it's a long walk from parking (even with the tram, which doesn't actually go to the parking lot that most people wind up in) while the betting lines are huge as well. We wound up taking off after a couple of hours, and blowing off Gnarls Barkley, rather than fighting the crowd to see a concert where it wasn't even clear where the concert was being held.

Santa Anita is better.

Anyhow, the point really is that on the way down I pitched my wife this thriller idea I've been toying with for a little while, a violent, definitely-R tale that I wasn't sure what her reaction to would be. Because there's some dark stuff in there.

Not only did she like it, but she helped me brainstorm an even darker ending. Heh.

So I've been wrestling for a while with the question of what to focus on banging out this summer. I was working on a comedy, and it's first 40 pages got a good reaction in group, but I pulled it back because I really needed to go back and work out the plot, before I wrote myself into a corner.

I'm also concerned about its possible resemblance to the upcoming Ricky Gervais film GHOST TOWN, written by David Koepp and John Kamps. If anyone has a line on that script, let me know.

So I'm leaving the comedy on the hydraulic lift for a while, and I'm going to try and bang out this thriller, which is one of the rare things I've set out to write that doesn't have some sort of supernatural/fantasy element to it.

I'm going to try and reinstitute the old hour-a-day thing, though maybe not today, because I have a pile of work left over from not doing it over the weekend. Sigh.


THE DARK KNIGHT did a solid $75 million for the weekend, breaking the ten-day record by some huge margin. Good for it. I still haven't seen it yh I wwillet, but I will.

STEPBROTHERS did a strong $30 million. X-FILES only did about $10 million.


At 1:01 PM, Blogger marcoguarda said...

Spare all the time you need for yourself, Scott.

If you can do this thing tomorrow, then by all means do it tomorrow. It can wait. You cannot wait.

Sing with the parakeets. They know already it's all vanity and illusion.

Remember "Carpe diem"? Live by the day. If you can't help but curse or shout at something, or someone, than DO IT! Do not refrain yourself too much.

There is so little time to live.

Who is gonna say "thank you Scott" when they will sell for two million dollars their former awful script you masterfully dissected and about which you suggested the opportune great tweaks?

[save for me, that is @:] I'll never forget your commission]

And, about your mother, I think she's wrong [Yes! I'm really fervent this one time!].

I'd rather cut fallen leaves into paper dolls than being an accountant [my deep respect to all the creative accountants out there]

[[and by the way its really hard to cut dry leaves with nail scissors -- try yourself!]]

SO --

I'll give you 18 months to break through, then I'm coming over and challenge you personally to a dark-dreadful-deadly pipe-smoking duel.

Wishfully yours.


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And EC has a new challenger!

At 5:44 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...


I too was in a writing rut untill yesterday morning. Just starting to card out my latest spec. and I'm SO JAZZED about it. There's nothing like BEING EXCITED about what your currently writting. I hope you get there, buddy. I know I for one would LOVE to see you strike it big with a story of your own. Having had you critique some of my scripts, I am VERY INTERESTED in what stories, characters and plots the hampster in your head is capable of conquering up.

Can't believe you "wrote yourself into a corner" after 40 pages. Don't you outline at all? Having a COMPLETE outline of your story BEFORE you set down to write takes SO MUCH pressure off you. You can always write outside the outline, but it gives you a FALLBACK. Don't mean to crimp your style. Actually, I'm trying to help you.

Glad to hear your wife is able to help you write. That's SO COOL, and I'm soo jealous... Best I can do is my mom and her sister. Can't go dark on them at all. Luckily, the story I'm working on now is right up there sensativites. My dad will sometimes read my work, but he's a international spy/consperator novel devourer, and deviating outside his likes doesn't yeild much in the way of feedback. And he HATES screenwriting form v.s. the more descriptive novel style.

Like you I'm TRYING to get back in 1 hour a day everyday. For me that means getting up a 3:45 a.m. before the day job thing takes presidence.


I wish ALL well, including marcoguarda. If you're a spec. writer, you are to be pittied--PERIOD!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Is this parody?

At 11:59 PM, Blogger marcoguarda said...

"And EC has a new challenger!"


At 8:09 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

EC -- My writing group is both a blessing and a curse. In trying to come up with 25 pages a month, sometimes I find myself writing before outlining.

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Earl Newton said...

Scott -

Write the one you love the most. You'll come back to the other refreshed.


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