It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day

Chance Street

I remembered this very well when I woke up this morning. And I was very tempted to stay in bed a good bit longer, in stead of packing my things and go to class. But that would be a weak thing to do, and whatever would happen, I would probably learn something from it one way or another, so I went.

I made sure to have a rescue plan in place though, I bought a ticket for Shadowlands for Monday. That way, when I would come home Sunday evening, utterly depressed from another disastrous weekend in screen writing class, I would be sure that Charles Dance would lift my spirits with his remarkable performance on stage.

So … I guess I wasn’t ready for it at all, but I went anyway.

If you like to know how my writing is going, step in. If not, come back tomorrow for something else.

The assignment was to add 20 pages to the 30 pages we already had. I took that assignment a bit broader, I rewrote most of the 30 pages I already had, and wrote 20 fresh pages.

Just to show how nervous I was, I have been freezing the whole morning in class, and it wasn’t really cold at all. Do you know the feeling?
After lunch it was my turn and when I heard him say my name, I felt my stomach turn into a stone. And I thought – why am I doing this, this is torture. Maybe I should just pack my things and go. Now. I looked down.

And he said: “This is so much better”
And my ears nearly fell off.
I wanted to say – “wait a minute, rewind that for me please, can I hear that one more time?” but didn’t.
I could kiss him. But didn’t.

And he asked how I went about after last time.
And I was on the edge of saying : “Well crisis therapy and a lot of pills”.
Or “Listening to Charles Paris saying “Jammy Dodgers” – in an infinite loop”.
Or “Watching films with that actor in it.”
It’s nearly all true. But I didn’t say it.

I told him that I had rewritten most of it and that I had hopefully learned from some of my mistakes. There are still things wrong with it (of course there are but I can learn how to fix that) but the skeleton of the story is OK, which is good.

A few more notes:
I am the only person writing a romantic comedy which is harder than you think and than I thought. Mostly because I don’t want it to be cheesy and cliche-like and boring. So my two main characters are an (hopefully) unlikely couple. And the male character is an actor (and no it is nothing like Notting Hill). And when people started comparing my male character with someone as classy as Cary Grant I bit my tongue and said – yeah, that’s not too far off. You probably know better who has inspired me.

I somehow find it hard to come up with original locations (the story is set in London). People in my script meet, and normally you meet people in a cafe or restaurant. But I don’t want them to sit in places like that all the time, so I need to brainstorm a bit about where else people meet. (Any tips welcome)

I also find it hard to write original characters. To give them characteristics that make them unique. Like the guy at my work who is quoting stuff from Wikipedia all day long (I am probably going to use that in my script).

I have 35 days to write another 30-40 pages. That is going to be very tough, not the least because we are in the middle of the film now, and so many films sink in at this exact position, after about 50 minutes. The challenge is to keep it interesting for the audience, and get them involved in the characters.

But after today I am more motivated than ever and even though it will mean being very disciplined (which is tough for me, also because I am so easily distracted), not watching too much telly (but there is music and Bill in my ears) – in other words – work hard – I think I can do it.

Tomorrow we will get some personal directions and I will also get some comments (in a private session) on my Jammie Dodger script. I hope he is kind, but after today – there is hope.

It’s a new dawn,
it’s a new day
and I’m feelin’ good.

14 Comments

  1. olive · 04-11-2007

    great meeting places? trains, stations and maybe in your case in london: the subway…

  2. grigorisgirl · 04-11-2007

    Glad it’s coming together for you.

  3. Radar Detector · 04-11-2007

    Places that can probably create a sense of exquisiteness and aristocracy would be museums and art galleries. Most people are possibly interested in funny high-spirited characters who seem to incorporate their own habits and personality, but I think they would be more interested in characters that are seemingly distant from themselves – such as a blind person with a talking mobile phone and a talking laptop who sits on park benches with a dog as a companion and frequently travels alone with the dog, or an “always silent” person who seems to be in deep thought most of the time, you know. Hope this helps.

  4. Zazz · 04-11-2007

    I just breathed a sign of relief on your behalf. This sounds so much better than last time! Actually, I believe you can write a rom com, with tension in the middle and all. With funny, interesting, lovely characters. And dialogues far from bromidic. Your quality to learn from criticism is exemplary.

    As for the meeting places: Do you mean places for a coincidental first meeting, or places for a rendezvous? Like a park, a museum, an art gallery…

  5. Anne · 04-11-2007

    I knew you could do it! :-)

  6. winter solstice · 04-11-2007

    Well done! As Zazz said, being able to do something creative with criticism is a rare gift.

  7. Miek · 04-11-2007

    Wauw!!! so glad to hear that this time it was so much better, I knew you could do it , next weekend take a break and after that New York, you deserve that!! ;-)

  8. Robtheblob · 04-11-2007

    great news, I’d say! I heard in London people often meet queuing up for the under three items counter (?) at M&S’s ;)

  9. kate · 04-11-2007

    That is great news, Ingrid! I was really pleased to read this post. It’ll make it so much easier to

    Meeting places … museum of natural history … down by the river … photography or some other kind of class depending on their interests. Ummm… I’m not so good with this meeting stuff, but left to my own devices, I could probably come up with a bunch of other spots too.

    I have a hunch you will get the next batch of writing done in fewer than 35 days!

    Here’s a hug,
    kate ox

  10. Ingrid · 04-11-2007

    Thanks all. Just know: So much better – doesn’t mean that it is great. It is just less crappy than last time, which is, I guess, progress.

    @Zazz – meeting places – for rendezvous mostly. So Museum and Art Gallery are excellent suggestions which now will be used.

    @Robtheblob – yes they say that love flowers there (5 items) but truly I have never seen it, and God nows I’ve often tried that queue.

  11. Radar Detector · 05-11-2007

    Hi Ingrid! the fact that you are aware that there is still room for improvements on what you are working on, is a good sign that you are in the right direction.

    on characters:

    I have a friend who is so unaware of his habit that every time he tells us something about someone or about anything at all he ends up talking about how good he is, and this happens all the time.

    I’m not sure if you might want to include someone like him in your story. He can be annoying sometimes but most of the time i just find it funny how he does it, end every story that he tells complimenting himself.

    Hope everything goes well Ingrid

    Radar Detector

  12. Jill · 05-11-2007

    Yes, the feeling chilly happens to me too :) But I knew it – you rock ;)

    Your characters could also meet in e.g. a concert or a play

  13. Zazz · 05-11-2007

    I must have been completely absentminded… or has the comment of Radar Detector popped up after I’ve sent mine? Museum, art gallery, it is all mentioned already. And I just babbled along and pretended to come up with a brand new idea (which, actually, as for me, I did). Leastwise you liked the suggestions… :)

  14. Ingrid · 05-11-2007

    No Zazz, you were not absent minded. Radar Detector was trapped in my spam filter and first popped up after you answered! So – you were there first! :)

    And thanks for the suggestions, I am going to move some stuff to museums and/or art galleries.

    I feel like an idiot that I didn’t think of that myself, I guess I was the absent minded one.