First off: The weather is sunny! I’m getting out and about! Still too busy to do anything exciting, but I’m getting in better shape (as in Layla fit) largely because my old left hip/leg muscle injuries FINALLY seem to be on the mend. Being my own physical therapist and strengthening and diligently stretching certain muscles have made a big difference.
And now for an update on my screenplay.
I haven’t written many more pages, but I’ve turned out gobs of notes. More challenging is how my head is overflowing with scenes, dialogue, and characters. Sure, it’s fun having a movie play out in my head. But it’s also a little freaky keeping so much of a story in my head BEFORE writing it down.
See, what I’m used to is letting a story flow out novel-style. That can mean lots of exposition and description I’ll edit down later. There’s room to maneuver.
But screenplays? They’re a whole different animal. They must be so lean that not one unnecessary word clutters any of the 105 to 120 pages. You can use only a few words to evoke a world of emotions, actions and thoughts. In the best screenplays, there isn’t even a single excess line of dialogue. Every detail is significant, tells us something, has weight and heft.
Granted, years ago I wrote three screenplays and one TV script. But I really didn’t know what I was doing (except for the TV Moonlighting script, which is pretty good). This time around I’ve studied the art. I’m carefully crafting each scene before moving on to the next one.
So really, even if my screenplay gets nowhere production-wise (gee, what are the odds?), I’ve gotta say that writing it seems to be improving my storytelling ability.
BTW, one of the best screenplays ever written is The Apartment by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. You can find it online at dailyscript.com along with other screenplays. As experts point out: sure, it’s a classic film, but the script itself also READS beautifully.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Have you ever written a screenplay or short script? Ever been tempted to?