I have been neglectful in my blogging duties, but I do have an excuse. I have discovered a new and wonderful world called script writing. At first I was skeptical, unsure if I could ruthlessly hack out flowery prose in favor of dialogue and stage direction, and though I am far from proficient at this point, the whole practice is becoming more familiar.
It was akin to trying to draw with my left hand at first. I adapted a few of my existing short stories, hacked everything that wasn’t essential to the plot and boiled it down to a concentrated version of what I had before. The result? Crap.
This was all brought on by an offer to collaborate on a musical that a friend has been trying to get on to paper for a long time. I am a big fan of collaboration, it makes my life a lot easier with the correct co-author. The fact that my collaborator is an extremely attractive actor who is also attracted to me had no small part to play in the agreement, however the plot of the play is also really amazing and the underlying message is definitely going to resound with audiences.
So with that, I decided it was time to figure out just what I had gotten myself into. Google is an invaluable ally when you are trying to do something that you have never attempted before. I first started to read about writing plays in general, sticking mainly to websites that professed to be penned by actual playwrites. It’s very easy to tell if someone is an actual published playwrite or if they are just saying that they are, their diction is different, they use jargon of the business so fluently that you get confused. Playwriting 101 was where I started, and thank the muses that Jon Dorf linked all of the jargon to an appendix of definitions.
Anyway, I read through that page and then a few others that weren’t all that great. I was about to give up and just start reading scripts when I found something truly interesting. Celtix is an open source software suite that has pretty much everything anyone would ever need for pre-production work on plays and movies. The software itself is open source, so if you are proficient in coding and programming (which I am not) you can customize it.
Now that I have this software, I figure I can safely go out into the world of plays and figure out what makes them work. I have read plays before, enjoyed them thoroughly, but I’ve never looked at them with the critical eye of someone who intends to make something of the same calibre.
It’s a brave new world, and putting script writing on top of fiction writing, some may say that I am almost totally insane. Those people are completely correct. What author isn’t just a little bit insane, save those who are completely nuts? We have a drive, and we have a creative spirit, it keeps us going.
You see it time and time again, authors tell you that they can’t imagine their lives if they didn’t put words on a page in a pretty way. I don’t think I need to rehash the old adages here, there are hundreds if you want to go look for them, and mine would likely pale in comparison. Suffice to say that I suffer the same affliction with a little mania and some scattered focus. I need to experiment as well as write, so I am going with playwriting for now, it’s new enough that I feed my curiosity, but familiar enough to not through me off the deep end.
I am still going to write fiction, I promise (for those of you who enjoy my writing.) I am still working on a novella that will be ready to send out for rejection letters (and hopefully one acceptance letter) soon.