Nelli Clark

I WAS only eight years old; And before I grew up and knew what it meant I had no words for it, except That I was frightened and told my Mother; And that my Father got a pistol And would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy, Fifteen years old, except for his Mother. Nevertheless the story clung to me. But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five, Was a newcomer and never heard it OTill two years after we were married. Then he considered himself cheated, And the village agreed that I was not really a virgin. Well, he deserted me, and I died The following winter.

          – Spoon River Anthology

This is the part I’m learning for Meisner 4. It’s a stretching piece for me. Much more vulnerable than I normally let myself be on stage. Or ever.

First Half of a First Draft

This is my phone lock screen. A constant reminder. (Credit- Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist)

My spec is coming along. I finished the first half of the first draft on Saturday. Which was right on schedule- a feat I accomplished by using my normal brain dump method of writing. I got to class and Michael said we each needed to read our first five pages out loud. Talk about locking up. I write quickly and freely because I have trained myself to do so. Part of that is assuring myself that NO ONE gets to see first drafts. Even if I want someone to see a first draft I do at least a little editing, as a way of keeping that promise to my sub-conscience so that it’ll cooperate when I sit down to write.

The sudden knowledge that I had to read five pages of a first draft out loud to a roomful of people who at least some of which of far more experience (and one of whom is a professional tv writer), and the fact that mine isn’t a sitcom so I don’t get that fast feedback of laughs, made me want to hide. More

Page by Page

Finished my first page-by-page of my spec! It has a LONG way to go but it feels good to get this far. I’ve always goofed around at scriptwriting but having the structure and deadlines of a class is helping me get through the slumps. I have to write it, because I have to turn it in or look lazy. That’s a stronger motivation.

The DNA chain I wrote for the pilot of Grimm.

The DNA chain I wrote for the pilot of Grimm.

I’m taking the spec writing class at iO with Michael McCartney. Who, by the way, is such a great teacher.  He really cares about us and what we’re doing, he isn’t all burned-out and cynical like some of the teachers I’ve met in Chicago. Michael gives us “art” homework, related to out scripts. He also gives us “commerce” homework, which relates to turning this into a career. Another thing I appreciate. It’s one thing to teach me how to write a script. It’s another to help me learn how to talk to agents and what to do once I have one. The goal of the class is that at the end of the 8 weeks I’ll have the 2nd draft of a spec script, as well as have started reaching out to targeted agents to build a relationship. More

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