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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dreams, Fantasies and Writer's Block Too!

               Ah writer’s block… I used to swear that I never got it and that used to be true.  As long as I could get some words on the page I was good.  However, that was before I took on such an enormous creative writing project.  I’ve done my fair share of academic writing without much trouble and my dips into creative writing have never been on this scope before.   Well, needless to say writer’s block and I have been introduced.
                Let me take a moment to explain what I really mean by writer’s block.  I’m not that girl that stares at the screen and has no idea what to write.  I know where my story is going and how to get there (often when I’m writing my story takes an unanticipated turn).  When I get writer’s block, I’m the girl who sits staring at the computer writing and deleting writing and deleting.  What I’m struggling with is my character’s relationships.  This brings me back to a previous entry when I talked about my “perfect” characters “Why are you so Perfect? Oh Right I Created You”.
                My main character, Lizabeth, is very much me and for some reason I am just enamored with Gabriel.  That would be fine except for the fact that Lizabeth is in a love triangle with another boy Christian.  I am able to write scenes between Lizabeth and Gabriel with ease. The dialogue flows effortlessly.  Scenes with Christian however, are like pulling teeth.  I go over and over what should be an easy scene setting up their new, blossoming relationship.  How often do you get to know someone for the first time?  There should be plenty for them to talk about, right?  Ug!  Christian is my writer’s block.
                For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make writing Christian’s scenes with Lizabeth easier with no avail until last night.  I had this dream.   You know the kind…the how would my life have been different if I chose this instead of that.   Drawing on previous relationships, in my dream, I did something that I would never do in real life. (Oh look…another theme “stepping outside of my comfort zone”)   I think the word fantasy is a little too strong of a word, but we’ll run with it for now. 
This dream helped me figure out that I am comfortable with Gabriel’s character.  Gabriel’s relationship with Lizabeth represents the part of me that is grounded and “inside the box”.  So where does that leave Christian’s relationship?  Christian’s relationship with Lizabeth represents something unfamiliar and exciting….something (like in my dream) I would never really do in real life.  Writing scenes with Gabriel are easy, because he is the choice I made.  Christian’s character is uncharted territory for me, the choice I didn’t make.
Having that new understanding of what these characters represent in my book, even just for me at the subconscious level, has broken through my writer’s block with Lizabeth’s scenes with Christian.  Well, at least for now.  J  When I am writing scenes for Christian I look at them as an adventure, an exploration into the unknown.  I now look forward to writing them because now I can explore their relationship and her choice, unlike mine, is trending to the unfamiliar.  It’s kind of fun to watch through her eyes as she makes a choice I never did.  I enjoy writing her putting herself out there with Christian and trying to ignore her fear of being rejected.  It’s all a journey….a wild one!
Write well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Most Amazing Feeling in the World!

          Blog much?  Apparently I don’t, at least not lately.  I have had this blog post in my head for a couple of months, but I haven’t had enough time to just sit and type it.  Honestly, this is a little less about my novel and a little more about writing screen plays.  I think it still fits though…enjoy!
           I have always been a girl who likes to live in her comfort zone.  So when a good friend of mine asked me to help write a short for the 48 Film Challenge I shied away from the invite at first.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  My first response was, “Sure that sounds like a lot of fun.”  And it did, but as the big weekend got closer and closer I found myself not so excited about stepping out of my safe place.  The only person I would know on this project was my friend and I would have to drive home from a city I had never been too pretty late at night.  (All out of my comfort zone….I have a tight group of friends that I see often, but I am kinda shy in a new group.)
           Fast forward to the day of the big event, I get a text from my friend asking me if I was going to attend.  At first I wavered back and forth about what I was going to do.  Then, I did something that was really out of the ordinary for me.  I went for.   I agreed to be part of the team.  I had a moment of, “if you never try anything new how are you going to grow as a person?”  Plus, I was going to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.
           What a crazy night it was too.  The team was comprised of a mix match of friends of friends of friends, but we all seemed to work well together.  Emily stepping outside of the box is not the story here though, so I will move on.
           The story here lies on the night of the screening of the movies.  I had written the dialogue for the major scenes and earned the first writing credit (cool) which was my first screen writing credit ever.  I was really excited to see how it all turned out.  After all, I had written the words, but the other aspects (direction, photography, acting, editing etc.) were about to come together on the screen before my eyes.
           The anticipation was killing me and as the title was projected on the screen I could feel my stomach drop.  Then the actors began speaking my words….MY WORDS!  What an amazing feeling!  Every hair on my body was standing on end.  The words I had written were coming out of someone else’s mouth and there were good!  The actor’s put their own spin/inflection on them of course, but they were still mine.  Something that I created, and had played out in my head, was now being seen by other people.  My characters were now alive.
           This blog doesn’t do the feeling justice, but it was amazing.  It was an unbelievable feeling to see my work become something more than just words on paper.  I can’t wait to get that feeling again. (Hint hint you know who you are!)

In case you care to check it out here’s the You Tube link…