Sunday, February 8, 2009

What do you do when you're not moving forward (fast enough)?

As most of you know, I have been talking about writing a screenplay for about 9 years... Roughly 2 and a half years ago, I finally started writing it, and yet here I stand... still unfinished. Don't get me wrong, I've completed 2-3 drafts of it, but the story still hasn't reached its full potential. Moreover, I know that I can do better.

To make matters worse (or is that better?), the story has changed numerous times throughout the writing process. I suppose it's because much of it is semi-autobiographical. As I change and experience more, my main character and his story continue to evolve, becoming crystallized and hopefully more focused.

So while the work is improving, I feel like I'm getting further and further from the finish line. Throw in recurring laptop issues (which have cost me somewhere around $350 to repair thus far), a busy schedule and an ongoing struggle to get in "the zone" and you'll get some sense of why I still feel like I'm at square one.

Part of me thinks it'd be better to put my script on hold and move on to some shorter (and easier to sell) proejct just so I can try to get something out there. I have literally more than hundred story ideas stirring in my head (some of which I could probably start writing immediately). But the other side of me feels like that's a cop-out. If I've devoted so much time to my screenplay, I should stick with it... If I don't maintain that commitment to a story I'm working on, I might end up with a stack of unfinished manuscripts and nothing to show for it.

Anyway, that's my dilemma folks... Thought I'd bring it to the group...

What say you??? Should I continue plugging away at my screenplay or shift focus for the time being?


  1. Hey! I have a couple of things to say about that. #1. I know how you feel. My project, Demon in the Keep has suffered numerous rewrites and revisions. The original version looks nothing like the current version. It shares some of the main characters and themes, but that's about it. And I too have yet to actually get it to the point where I feel like its anywhere close to being done. So, you're not the only one. #2. Don't give up. If you've worked this long on the project, the story has to be important to you. If it didn't have potential to be good or great, you would have lost interest, I think. #3. I would suggest that you simplify. One of my problems is I had too much going on in my story. I had to sit down and ask myself "What is this story about?" I got three main things from that little chat with myself and decided to save the other themes/plot lines for a different book. #4. The other major problem I had with the story is that I didn't know my characters very well. I knew who the main character was and what her goals/fears/talents etc were, but the rest of my cast was hazy and undefined, as were many of my settings. I had to really sit down and think about who my characters were and how they would operate in real life. Once I knew them better, the story started to flow much easier. So....that's my advice: Keep going, simplify your story and know your characters better. Hope this rambling comment was somehow helpful.

  2. Hmm....

    you said that working on other things would be a cop out....


    don't cop out!

    Keep revising till YOU think it's perfect.

    You move on to something else and then guess what may never go back to it.

    I'm with Ashley...don't give up!