No, I didn’t get a new job, but I have found a new project. It’s not sewing, or writing on this blog, or working out – which are all new projects I found for myself this year. It’s writing a script. A dream since I was a child, I used to create stories and act them out for myself while in the bathtub growing up. I would envision story lines, characters with extensive backgrounds – mostly focused in the fantasy realm. I recall a story I would go back to, time and time again, about a young saber-tooted tiger warrior named Flower. Her long-lost love, Tiger, was the damsel in distress in most of my imaginary stories. It felt so real to me, these stories and characters I had developed. They felt as real as my family members. I would look forward to the time I had alone so that I could go back into this imaginary world and sink into these story lines again. Each time, I would create new, dangerous expeditions Flower and Tiger would need to persevere; and each time, they would prevail, untouched by the evil in their world. I had many characters like this. It was heaven for me.
So, it came to no surprise when I did grow up, I kept my passion for storytelling and imagination alive (perhaps that is what led to my undergraduate degree in journalism?). I would huddle in my room for hours, thinking of new ways to tell that same story or new stories completely. To this day, when I’m alone in my house, I go back to these stories – the stories of my childhood – and intricately interlace myself in their worlds.
I started outlining and designing the key themes and scenes of the script already. I’ve never done this before, so I checked out some “How To” books from the library on screenwriting. I figured, why not start with the basics? I pulled the following texts into my library queue:
- The Art of Dramatic Writing
- Making a Good Script Great
- Screenplay, The Foundations of Screenwriting
- The Screenwriter’s Bible
We’ll see how they shake out. The second one will probably be useful in context once I actually have a first draft.
After perusing the library’s massive resources (thank you, City of Seattle and Great State of Washington), I started searching the interwebs for some easy-to-use outlining templates. I had purchased a program, thanks to my brother’s recent Christmas gift of a $100 Apple gift card, called Storyist. It’s a screenwriter’s/novelist’s dream come true, but can be quite cumbersome if you haven’t written or studied screenwriting. I needed basics like, (1) how do you outline your story, (2) what is character development, (3) how do you let the story lead itself, and (4) how do you avoid the blackhole of writer’s block?
For this, Google assisted.
I found the following resources to be of great value:
- IndieWire’s Screenwriting 101: Everything You Know About Outlining is Wrong
- MovieOutline’s Scriptwriting for Beginners: Learning the Basics of Screenwriting
But, to be honest, there wasn’t much of a selection to find. There are a ton of site’s devoted to wannabe screenwriters like myself; however, none of them seem all that reliable or adaptable. I determined that it was going to be more effective for me to read all I could, but when it came to outlining and drafting rely on my own intuition.
Phew. Here goes!
Seriously, though, how many hobbies or projects can I absorb into my daily life?
If you are thinking that I’m trying too many new things at once, get in line. You, my partner, probably most of my family and friends think I’m taking too many new projects or hobbies on this year.
Well to that I say, focus on yourself. I’m doing A-OK over here.
I decided late last year, as you know if you read my other blog posts, that 2017 was going to be MY year – whatever that actually means.
Is 2017 the year of novelty or exploration? To be determined. What hobbies will I take into 2018? Unknown. But for the time being, I’m working on this script and I’m excited about it, so don’t dampen my parade. Your rain isn’t welcome here.