This is what I love about writing. This is what I hate about writing.
I wrote a scene of Psycho Ex last night. A quick, simple, self-contained, direct, 1-page, 2-characters-in-a-room scene that I has pretty happy with. So what did I do? I screwed it up and asked some people to read it, with a couple of simple questions. Of course, instead of answers they had loads of questions, all of which I thought were irrelevant: do we know these people? do they know each other? why are they in the same room? But what else should I expect from sending people a scene on page 80-something with nothing else to go from?
If the script wasn’t so overlong and fat I would send the whole thing to this point, but that would require me to shift over from “creative” mind to “critical” mind, and then a lot of time to edit and tweak, and I don’t want to take myself out of “creative” mind until the first draft is done. Plus I don’t want to waste all the first impressions of a large number of readers – must wait until the big obvious problems are fixed, otherwise they will just focus on the big obvious problems. The first draft will be WAY long but I can’t worry about that now. I just have to write scenes.
The writing process of this script is so unbelievably different from any I’ve ever used before. But then again they are all different and there is no “standard” process. Despite all my efforts to sit down and map out the specific timeline of the rest of the script (I have the note cards all written up), I cannot seem to do this. My process lately has been to just look at the note cards, take a scene that I know will HAVE TO be in the script, and then just write it. Then I go to the next one. I will sequence them later. Usually I will figure out that scene X would be perfect right after scene Q while I am deep in the middle of writing scene F, so I’ll switch over and move them into sequence with the screenwriting software. This is the most random access digital editing process I have ever used to write. Some times my brain cannot really do it, and I cannot figure out how to resume this way of thinking/working, and it kills time with all the gear-switching. But as soon as I get into the flow of writing a scene I am okay. This is why I say “I just have to write scenes” and not think about the structure at all. Currently the “document” (script outline with full scenes written until page 80-something) comes in at 108 pages. An overlong disorganized monster that keeps growing with many many scenes to go still. The bad news is that I am deep into it. The good news is that I am deep into it. I guess this means I have hit critical mass of brain involvement so there is no going back now. Now I just have to go forward without a plan for going forward. This is what it is – not necessarily fun but a waking dream that is impossible to stop. This is the zone. Is the script/story any good? That is an impossible question with an unknowable answer that is less than irrelevant. Must… shut… up…