Posted 29 August 2005 - 06:39 AM
The 2nd rewrite of a screenplay I'm working on is really turning into an arduous chore. I can't seem to find focus and I find myself thinking about the story more than actually writing anything. I've tried 'killing my darlings', ommiting empty dialogue and clarifying scenes ad nauseum, but I can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This will be my 3rd year into this story, and although I still believe in it, things just aren't falling into place. It's a concept I've never seen before in any movie, and that may be a bad thing. It's like trying to explain what light is to a blind person.
Anyway, have any of you had writer's block before and what's the cure for it?
Posted 29 August 2005 - 11:35 AM
Spend a couple of days creating an outline for the whole thing, even for any scenes you've already completed. Also write a goal for each scene: what does one character want from the other? If there isn't one, you have to create it, and if it's not advancing the story or getting that person closer or further from the big-picture goal, cut it. And keep in mind that people often hide their real agendas in scenes, so try finding any of your dialogue that is too "on the nose" and have the character's words and body language be in opposition sometimes.
The outline will give you something to do every day. If scene 10 is giving you problems, you can just jump to scene 40 that day. It'll also help you get a better feel for any structural problems.
I can't reccommend chronic to motivate. . . quite the opposite. If it were a creativity problem. . .
Actually, I just re-read your post. Second rewrite. Are you just trying to tighten it up? Or are there huge problems? Or is it boring? You could have someone else read it for an objective opinion if you're too close to it.
Posted 29 August 2005 - 12:48 PM
Heh... that would definately be the easy way out of this.
Been off the chron for about 5 months now, so I don't think it's worth going back to it again at this point in time. I appreciate the suggestion and yes, it definately sparks creativity but it also turns you into somewhat of a mindless zombie and can make you extremely lazy.
I'm trying to tighten it up and solve a few problems (fill in a few holes).
Your outline plan sounds like an excellent idea. I've been doing something similar, but less organized.
Thank you both for your replies.
Posted 29 August 2005 - 12:49 PM
Why are you rewriting it? Is it your call or someone else's?
When you DO show it, make sure it's someone you trust to give you honest feedback. Most people will just tell you nice things that they think you want to hear.
I'm in the same situation, to a degree and I am trying to find someone to give me notes on the screenplay. My biggest problem is changing my mind too often.
Posted 29 August 2005 - 12:59 PM
Yeah, the screenplay's been read a few times before. I'm working on a rewrite based on comments from my third reader, possibly the most tactless and straightforward of them all. She told me that the story's interesting, but that dialogue doesn't "jump off the page" enough and that the descriptions are too pretentious and not descriptive enough. All in all she likes it, but it still needs work.
Indecisiveness is also one of my biggest problems now... I know what you mean.
There's a site where people swap scripts online (google: script swap) or you could always try to find an English teacher, filmmaker or friend to read your work.
BTW, will this be your first screenplay?