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.