So Close

by syaffolee

Two-thirds of Script Frenzy is already over, but unlike previous years where at this point I either was woefully behind or had given up, I am actually ahead of schedule.  In fact, as of this moment, I only have about ten more pages to write in order to reach the 100 page goal.  And as the writing time I have been averaging is approximately one page per ten minutes, I could easily achieve the ten page goal in under two hours.  Heck, if I had written the entire script in one sitting, I could have finished this under a day and not thought about this for the rest of the month.  After all, there are other things that have demands on my time.

One could conclude that this script writing is easy since it has been a smaller drain on my time than novel writing.  But it isn’t, considering the past three failed Script Frenzies.  I still contend that the script format is unnatural and not easy.  And despite making excellent progress this year, it doesn’t mean that I’m getting any good at it.  Script writing, like anything else, requires practice and dedication.  But other than this particular month-long challenge, I don’t really have the inclination to write scripts.  This particular art form does not fire my imagination like, say, writing prose.  I don’t like reading scripts or plays even though I can appreciate how a good one is put together.  I get bored by most movies and television drama.  The last DVD I attempted to watch, I ended up jumping past a good half of the scenes. I do not think I have ADD.  I am perfectly fine getting through entire books.  I’d be happy to spend an entire weekend watching a documentary marathon.  There are times in lab I’m concentrating so hard on what I’m doing that people have to yell at me to get my attention.  I only get impatient when I find myself doing something I don’t find particularly interesting.

One could argue that I’m feeling this way because I’ve hit a creative rough patch.  I don’t think that’s the case.  I have plenty of ideas.  I just don’t like the form because I feel like I have a complete lack of control over what I consider as the story.  The script writer just provides the words, the lumber as you will.  The actual house, castle or shack would be built by actors, production crew, director.  Unlike a novel, short story, or even poem, where the reader can ignore the physical trappings of how the work was printed and concentrate solely on the words, a script is only one building block.  The writer has absolutely no control on how things would actually look like or what the characters do with the words.  Directors and actors could very well alter character motivations and make a script into an entirely different story by interpretation alone.

So, as a reporter for the local newspaper last week had asked me, why do I want to do this if I have no intention to actually do anything with the script, like making it into a movie?  Well, there’s the easy answer: that I view this as a writing exercise to practice writing dialogue.  And then there’s the really easy answer: why not?  I’ve never finished a script before.  So maybe this is the year to do so.

But after this month, I’m leaving script writing to those who live to do it.