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.

Working on this has been one of the more fascinating things I’ve done in awhile. I love to write. It’s my primary hobby. I write all kinds of things- blogs, novels, short stories, novellas, essays. Most anything. Except the thing I want to write the most. I’ve always wanted to write movies or tv shows and I haven’t written any.

Fear. What if I couldn’t do it? What if they sucked? What if if if? I didn’t realize it but I was stalling because I had so much invested in the idea of writing them that I couldn’t bring myself to risk failing.

Now I am. And it’s fun! It’s also a lot of work. I’m breaking down shows and counting scenes and finding the A, B, and C plots. I’m counting pages compared to minutes and finding how they hook the end of each act. I’m looking for patterns and rhythms. It feels like a game.

I think TV writing may very well be the perfect option for me. I’ve thought that in the back of my head for some time. These past two weeks have only made that thought stronger. It allows me to combine the fun and creativity of coming up with new ideas with the challenge of fitting it into a preset structure. Plus I love fanfiction because it allows me to tell my stories while also doing it through the lens of someone else’s voice and viewpoint. TV writing is the same way. The struggle to express my voice through the show’s own voice is one that excites me, rather than frustrates me (the way I could see it does some of my classmates)

Also, and this is the part that feels strange, this an episode I can see them making. By that I mean that as I work on it I can imagine the characters and I can see how the show would look, even some of the angles and lighting choices they’d use. Which I know specs don’t get made so no one will ever see this episode. Still, the idea that it IS an episode is strange to me. Because as much as I want to do this I have the ever present thought that I can’t. That my brain doesn’t work that way or I’m not creative enough or whatever. Yet I am watching this story take shape in front of me, and it’s a story they would conceivably make. Weird.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel B
    Sep 20, 2014 @ 15:24:35

    You go, girl! I dream that one of these days you are going to call me to tell me about your TV opportunity. Keep practicing and fighting for what is important. =)


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