Tag Archives: brain crack

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Finishing The Hat

There are at least 3 unfinished screenplays sitting on my hard drive right now. They all start with good intentions: I get some brilliant idea that I have to turn into a script, forgo outlining, and just dive right in. Then, about 10 pages in, I get stuck. I go back and read over my pages and deem it an unsalvageable mess. Rather than go back and fix the problems, I just move on to the next best idea. Brain crack gets the best of me.

If you followed this blog at all last year (and bless you if you did), you know that this reluctance to finish things is nothing new. I may have finished my senior project (2 episodes of an hour-long drama) on time, but not without extending a few deadlines in the process. Half of it was due to extenuating circumstances, but half of it was because I was, well…having trouble finishing.

Finishing things feel great. It’s nice to be able to hand your project to someone and say “Here, check out this thing I made.” The road to the finish line is difficult, but crossing the last step off your to-do list is amazing.

On the other hand, starting a new project, especially one that you are really excited about, is falling head-over-heels for someone. All your thoughts are focused on this new idea, and you can’t wait to come home to it. Every hour you’re not working on it is agonizing. It’s kind of addicting.

However, as I mentioned above, the honeymoon phase wears off quickly. Right now, I need to work on sticking with things. There’s a solution to (almost) any creative problem. When I’m out in the trenches, though, sometimes it’s hard to remember how great it feels to type the words “Fade Out.”

Senior Project | One Draft Down, Many More to Go

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There is no better feeling than completing a draft of a project. Even if you know it’s going to need some a lot of revision, it feels really nice to just finish something. I now have a full first draft of my pilot. It may be a hot mess, but it exists in some completed form, and it’s much better than the tons of abandoned projects sitting on my hard drive at the moment.

Of course, I’m nowhere near finished with my senior project. I have another episode to write, then a ton of revisions to do between now and June. Despite the amount of work ahead of me, finishing this draft has really motivated me to keep working to make this project something special. This idea has moved past the brain crack stage and into something real that I can actually show people (other than my professor). Whether or not I actually want to do that remains to be seen.

Something I’ve found out in this last writing push is that I can actually write to music with lyrics. Usually I find music with lyrics too involving and I get sucked into the story of the song. This time around, I kind of tailored my playlist around the content of my script. I used those lyrics as inspiration for certain scenes or as a way to better get into the heads of my characters. One song I’ve been listening to a lot is “The Woodpile” by Frightened Rabbit. I had it more or less on repeat as I wrote the last scene of the pilot between my main character, Lily, and her overwhelmed boyfriend Jim. I don’t want to give to much away (ugh, I know, I hate me, too) but the song is kind of perfect for that scene. Who needs a music supervisor when you have Spotify? Just kidding, music supervisors are brilliant humans. I’ve included a Spotify playlist of some of the (non-embarrassing) songs on my writing playlist if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

I also strayed a little from my treatment in this draft. I made certain characters more pivotal to the plot, which means I may need to go back to the drawing board for this next episode. Sure, it’s more work, but I feel a lot better about where the story is going than I did when I wrote the first treatments. Things are looking up!

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