Friday, August 26


It'll be a short one today, hopefully. Gotta get back into writing!

How do you handle the unexpected?

So there have been some new developments in my life that have caused me to slack somewhat on my screenplay. Among those was my transition out of my previous job straight into my new one, which I started Thursday morning. This whole job process has been somewhat occupying my time, what with getting everything set and ready. But it would be unfair and, frankly, untrue to blame it solely - or even largely - on the new job acquisition.

Mainly? There are two things.
  • In my script, I've been somewhat stuck. Not quite sure what should happen next, and how. My desire to keep action, dialog, and business fluid, realistic, and honest has prevented me from thinking of a solution to this scene I'm on. Usually that means a rewrite is in order, but I'm hoping an idea will come to me first. Rewrites can always happen the next time through the script. This is first draft, after all. My biggest concern with this is it's not good to be stuck when the STORY of the screenplay is already planned out. It should come more easily.
  • Second, let's be honest here. I haven't been writing because a good portion of my time has been reading comics. I know, I know: those won't do me any good, they won't push me any further toward my goals, and they don't provide applicable substance to my exercises. I've heard it all before, trust me. But, lately, I've been really getting into this one writer at DC Comics who wrote both the last Green Arrow run (#s 1-12) and Teen Titans (#s 88-100). So I read all of his issues back-to-back to really see the full story of these books. And, from the viewpoint of someone who writes, these books are brilliant. I so thoroughly enjoyed them.
So those are finished now, and I won't be devoting quite as much time to those comics as I just did for the past week or so. I'll still continue to read comics, but more moderately and in a controlled fashion. Not as an excuse to fill time.

I should have more time to devote to writing now, and that excites me (which is good, for me, to be excited returning to an idea). I'm also considering using my days off to look into taking one or two writing courses at the local community college...see how I'd benefit. Back to the screenplay now!

What sorts of distractions normally, frequently get in your way? What does it take to realize you're putting things off and to get yourself back on track? Do you allot time from your daily schedule to devote to writing, no matter what?

Monday, August 22


I just read a blog post from David Walker over here, where he talked about the benefits of writing without any solid, specific goals in mind and the benefits of writing with a specific goal in mind. It was very thought-provoking, I felt. So I had to ask myself,

What are my goals?

I've outlined these before in previous posts, about how I wish to write simply to write and be happy with writing, but will that be enough for me? I've always been insatiable. I've always had HUGE plans for my projects. I've always dreamed of seeing my ideas made into movies up on the big screen, in a theater full of happy movie-goers. I've always fantasized about standing up on that stage at the Kodak Theater, accepting an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. So...with my new frame of mind, will I revert back to those primal desires?

To be honest, sometimes I get a little scared thinking about how the hunger for fame could come back to eat at me. I just dig the lifestyle...jet-setting across the country for various premieres or signings, press junkets and whatnot; and the fact that there are people out there who may come to like your work so much that they set out to find anything you've done and soak it up.

I like that there could be someone out there who will hunt down any project I've ever made, just for the chance that they like it as much as anything else I've done. I do that with certain people. I like that there could be someone who will travel across two states just to get a signature or a picture with me. I guess part of that is a self-centered type attitude, but I also think it's just the desire to be noticed.

I've talked about how I changed my attitude toward writing. I never really outlined WHY I continued to fail in my projects before. I believe a large part of it was due to my parents divorcing when I was very young. Being an only child, it was just my mom and I for some time. That's where a lot of my imagination came from, I think. But in conjunction, I think that's where this hunger was born. My NEED to be noticed, loved, and famous. To make a name for myself. A name that everyone will know.

I love writing. I love creating characters, worlds, scenarios. I used to do it all the time as a child. I still do it now. It's so important to me to flex my mind and create. I love piecing together a particularly difficult sentence (I actually rearranged that last one). I love the satisfaction that comes with loving your work. I love going back and re-reading old stories I've created and cherished in the past. I love watching other people read my work, seeing their expressions. I love hearing their opinions about it - good or bad.

I know I'm not the best at I suppose one goal I have would be to improve my skills. And that's why I write now. I no longer write to get rich and famous. That is not my singular purpose. That's why I've changed what I used to call "writing projects" to "exercises"...because they are meant to improve my skill. They're not "work".

So my main goal here is just what David Walker outlined in his blog post: to write these stories and then just put them away, satisfied with the final product. Now I'm not literally going to file them away and not do anything else with them. I will try to shop them around and see if any companies want to buy them or work with me. Because, while I do like writing for the sake of writing, I do want to try and make a living out of it someday. I'm not going to drop everything, though, and focus just on writing. I'm the type of guy who likes to eat and live under a I must pay the bills. So I have a 9-to-5. And I'm okay with that. So is my wife.

So my goals? They seem pretty vague, am I right? Write...and try to submit my work? More specifically, I guess, I want to come up with ideas, flesh them out, and create a full story. I want to do this enough times that it becomes easy...that the process of molding an idea into a story becomes second nature. To be able to build a story mentally a lot easier than before. I basically want to be a better writer.

That's goal number one. Long-term, for sure.

Another goal is to complete the ideas I already have. That's seven in total. I'm well into exercise number one, the "My Missing Brother" exercise - and on Saturday, I started making notes on my fifth exercise, the one involving the lives of my friends and I. I'm really excited about this one, and may even bump it up to my third exercise. :)

That's goal number two. That will take up a LOT of time, I'm positive.

Finally, I want to see what becomes of these. I won't be upset if nobody picks them up. I won't be crushed if I never achieve that level of fame that I used to fantasize about (and, admittedly, still do sometimes). I won't wonder why I don't have fans following me on Twitter or finding me for autographs or whatever. I'll be happy simply with the fact that I finished. But I do want to try. Because you never know. I could, one day, be living my dream as a full-time screenwriter - with more work than I know what to do with.

That's goal number three. That...yikes...will probably take the longest of the three.

But - I have goals.

Since I'm not writing TO BE successful, I won't be pushing too hard at some of those goals. I definitely want to finish the ideas I have currently, and I do want to improve as a writer. But that 9-to-5 is going to stand in my way, though as a partner, while I do that.

Do you struggle with goals? How many do you have set? Do you have someone to help keep your nose to the grindstone? Are your goals much different from mine, or do you weigh them differently? Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 18


I want to take a second to thank everyone who has been coming to my blog to check out the unimportant things I have to say. : )

Who Do You Trust?

Do you value the opinions of others when it comes to your work? Who do you turn to first, when seeking feedback on the latest sentence you've written? How do you know they're telling you the truth?

I'm only just now getting really into the "writing community" that can be found online. People's blogs and Twitter ([at]chambernaut) and whatnot. Real strangers, if you'll excuse the term. I have to is an issue with me. It always has been, even with people I've known for some time. When it comes to my writing, my ideas, and all that, I am so scared that something will happen...and someone will take it and make it their own before I have the chance. I cherish my ideas. These are my babies. Hell, I have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that - if any of my screenplays are ever bought - they're likely to be given to someone in the studios to rewrite...and the thing that's created is not my original idea.

But that's the reality of Hollywood and screenwriting. I have to cope with that.

To be honest, that's partially why the two scenes I posted previously are not crucial to the plot. I'm afraid that someone would steal it. Now, the people I've met so far through these blogs have been very nice and open and are gaining my trust in these facets. But I'm just still not comfortable.

So here's the dilemma: Who do I get to read and critique my work?

Now I've heard this before from multiple sources - and even said it myself in a previous post - that you shouldn't seek the approval or opinions of those close to you. Those who intimately know you. I'm talking about family, friends - those types. They're too fond of YOU to really be comfortable giving an honest, and sometimes-necessarily brutal opinion. They can't be trusted. (There are exceptions, of course, to any case)

In order to obtain truly UNBIASED opinions, you must seek out those who do not know you - and preferably have not read your work before. This was why I was so excited when I met the other writer through a mutual friend and we were able to exchange pieces to critique. He provided what I needed: someone who won't tell me what he thinks I want to hear.

That's the problem. I respect the opinions of my friends, and my wife, and my family. But sometimes - and I have to be honest here otherwise this blog means nothing - there are times when I feel like their opinions about my writing are misplaced or uneducated. Because they DON'T spend their time writing like I do. They DON'T read about and study the craft. They DON'T have experience putting together a story. So they don't always understand my reasoning for doing certain things, putting certain pieces in place. In fact, my wife understands this and prefers I DON'T ask her opinion. Haha.

So it's hard, for me, because I know that I cannot always rely on those close by to give me the feedback I need, and make it usable. Yet I have trust issues with "strangers" when it comes to giving out my work for critique. Am I doomed?

What do you do? Do you have a specified, experienced editor? If so, how did you find them and were they already close friends/acquaintances? Do you also have trust issues? How do you overcome them? How do ensure that you're as protected as possible by the copyright laws? What are your copyright methods? Do you find yourself often frustrated with sub-par critique from those who don't write?

Tuesday, August 16


I'm going to do my best to keep this from turning into yet another of my fun "pity party" posts.

Do you stand in your way?

After a week of not making as substantial progress as I have been, and so consistently, I've decided to take a look at what kept me from sitting down and doing it. I know, in the past, what these things have been. But with my brand-new outlook on writing, and what that means to me, I'm curious as to what my new challenges are.

Before, I can confidently say that I was as my worst enemy. I didn't understand my inner demons. I hadn't figured out what kind of person I was and how writing fit into my life. I actually had it backwards, thinking the writing was in control and that it defined me. Now I know better. And since then, I've been utterly bathing in happiness and "success" with my current writing exercise (again, "exercise" refers to the project I'm developing, but in a less "worky" way). I was constantly writing, constantly putting word to page and making the story grow.

For the past week, I've written maybe a few sentences and some dialog. Not nearly as lively as before.

But why is that? I don't believe I have the same obstacles as I had before my revelation, so what's new? I know how the story needs to it's not necessarily full-on writer's block. I mean, I have been thinking about different avenues the sequence of scenes can go right now, but it shouldn't be a show-stopping number here. To be honest, I really haven't felt like writing.

I'm fighting a creeping fear here that this is the non-commitment problem that I saw in myself before. I don't want to believe in my doubts. I want to shove through them with confidence.

Most interestingly, I read a blog post from Julie Lindsey during this past week, and it was about vacationing from writing. She stated that, sometimes, her days are just dedicated to other things - like social media or research. I related to that, and mentioned how it IS okay to delve into certain "obsessions" (her word) and deviate from the actual exercise.

So is that what I've been doing? Just enjoying a little time off? Even the most exciting, favorite activities require a short that you can appreciate the time you spend within those activities. I'm going to chalk this last week up to one of those short breaks.

What distracts you the easiest? What is your writing kryptonite? How long do you usually spend on these obstacles? Is laziness a big factor for you? What do you do to beat the distractions?

Saturday, August 13


I cannot believe the social networking success I've had in the past few days. This has been something of a shocking week for me.

How do you stay connected?

I try to pimp out my blog and get more readers - even though I know what I have to say isn't all that interesting to other people (or so it would seem) - and I have used the social networks to do that. I'm on Facebook, and I use Twitter (@chambernaut). I also try to network with other blogs on Blogger, following them and posting links to them on my blog to let other people get to them - because I like those blogs! They're neat!

Recently I found a blog,, run by paranormal author Jami Gold. She has some really great posts, talking about writing and building strong characters and other really great information. I have to admit, I was recently attracted to her blog because of my geekiness - she posted about the flaws concerning the recent Green Lantern movie. This post went viral and, apparently, got her blog LOTS of attention. Well, I started following her and reading her blog posts, even going so far as to get involved and comment. In one of my comments, I provided a link to a article I wrote a while back about beating writer's block.

Looks like Jami liked that article because she then tweeted that article with a mention of my Twitter name.

That was yesterday. In the last two days my Twitter following has jumped up by about 20. Unbelievable! This Jami's got some pull! :D Well, as I received more followers on Twitter - who are writers as well - I started checking out their own blogs and linking to them here on my blog (see the right-hand side for that list of recommended blogs). I really believe in networking and showcasing other talent where it's deserved. And trust me - these other blogs deserve recognition, most definitely more than mine! ...Just...don't stop coming here too.

Anyway, I cannot believe how networked I am's such a treat. I'm really having fun reading these other blogs and learning from other people. I do hope this trend continues. I want to be more noticed, I suppose, and have those interactions that help me grow as a creator - and hopefully I can help others grow as well! That's the teacher/helper part of me! A super-huge thank you to Jami Gold and to all of my new Twitter followers!

One last thing. I want to just mention how proud of myself I am. It used to be I would post on this blog once every couple of weeks or so. Look at the numbers over on the other months in the archive to the right there. Pretty pathetic, huh? The only month with as many posts is May (6)...and that's throughout the whole month. Now, I am so happy to be able to say that August is only HALF over and I already have SEVEN posts! Talk about destroying my old bad habits and perpetual giving up on things. That's done. I am so happy to blog now and just really get my thoughts out. It's so therapeutic.

What have you found to be the key to your success in committing to something that threatens to be time-consuming? Or key to completing your writing projects? How often do you find you're more willing to write, as opposed to when you feel like you're forcing yourself?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12


Okay, as promised, here is a small preview of a couple - YES, TWO! - scenes in my script. Please keep in mind that this material is copyrighted under United States copyright laws. Enjoy!

Remember these facts: this is set in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summer of 1976. The first scene is the main character, Jacob - 17, short, athletically built - wakes up and heads downstairs from the apartment he spent the night in, into the bar. Carl, mid-forties and balding, is the bar and apartment owner.

INT. BAR - CONT.                                                 
          Jacob appears at the base of the stairs that leads up to the     
          loft. There are only a few people seated at tables, and one      
          OLDER GUY, mid-eighties with long white hair, at the bar         
          itself. Carl is behind, watching the TV hanging in the upper     
          corner of the room. The Indians game is playing there too.       
          Jacob moves to the bar, sits two stools over from the Older      
          Guy. Carl notices him.                                           
          He pats the counter then leans against it toward Jacob.          
                    Sleep okay?                                            
                    Yeah. Game today, huh?                                 
          Carl glances back to the TV, nodding.                            
                    Yup. We’re getting killed. I was                       
                    hoping for a good season, but we’re                    
                    heading down. Least we’re doing                        
                    better than Detroit.                                   
          Jacob nods.                                                      
                    Well there’s that.                                     
          The Older Guy turns to the two of them, face lit with            
                              OLDER GUY                                    
                    You kidding? They suck! I’m sick of                    
                    always watching the greatest team                      
                    what ever played coming in last                        
                    year after year!                                       
          Carl rolls his eyes, turns away. The Older Guy doesn’t seem      
          to notice, or doesn’t care.                                      
                              OLDER GUY                                    
                    We seen the World Series three                         
                    times! But they just can’t get                         
                    their act together! Bums! Goddamnit                    
                    if I were manager, I’d fire every                      
                    one of them! That ain’t no team                        
                    that’s playing. That’s a disgrace!                     
                    Yeah, yeah. We know.                                   
                              OLDER GUY                                    
                    Don’t you give me lip! I’ll fire                       
                    you too!                                               
          Jacob snickers. The Older Guy turns back to watch the game,      
          mumbling to himself. Jacob turns to Carl.                        
                    You mind if I step out? I want to                      
                    look around.  I’ll come back.                          
                    Yeah, sure. Take in the sights.                        
                    Just be careful, kid.                                  
          Jacob nods, gets up, heads out the door.
It's a scene that might even get removed from the final draft, but I like this Older Man guy. What's really funny is the standings at the time for the Cleveland Indians were actually 3rd place above the 4th place Tigers -- and CURRENTLY, the Tribe is 2 games below 1st place Detroit. Go figure.

This next scene is Jacob's first adventure with marijuana, led along by his older brother, Dan - 22, tall and lean. Panic sets in when their stepfather, Thomas, comes home. This sequence is a TRUE story (but not mine).

INT. HERSCH RESIDENCE - DAN’S BEDROOM - DAY                      
          Jacob and Dan sit on the floor of the bedroom, backs against     
          the bed. Dan has a tray on the floor between his spread          
          legs. On the tray is paraphernalia for rolling     
          joints, of which Dan is in the process.                          
                    Jake, man, you are going to be                         
                    taken to this magical place. You                       
                    have no idea. You’re going to fly                      
                    high. Hit that, will you?                                              
          Dan indicates the cassette player near Jacob. Jacob presses     
          the play button. "Fly Like an Eagle" begins playing. Jacob       
          watches Daniel work, appearing excited, but noticeably nervous.                                              
                    You’re sure this stuff is okay?                        
          Dan gives Jacob a look.            
                    Jake, c’mon, look at me. I’m okay,                     
                    right? Would I do anything to hurt                     
                    my favorite little brother?                            
                    I’m your only little brother.                          
                    Same thing.                                            
          Jacob smiles and takes a finished joint Dan hands over. Dan      
          holds up a lighter.                                              
                    Ready to be rocked?                                    
          Jacob places the joint in his mouth and leans over so Dan        
          can light him. Jacob takes a deep inhale as Dan lights his       
          own. Jacob starts coughing and Dan pats him on the         
                    Relax, brother. Just enjoy it. It’s                    
                    not a race.                                            
          Puffs of smoke calmly waft out of his mouth as he talks. Jacob gets     
          control of his breathing and takes another couple smaller        
          hits. Dan nods approvingly. Jacob relaxes, slumps    
          against the bedside. Daniel sings in time with the music.      
                    Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...                    
                              DANIEL AND JACOB                             
                    Into the future...                                     
          The two continue to smoke and bob their heads to the music       
          for some time, singing more lyrics of the song.
The sound of the old, loud Comet pulling into the driveway       
          is heard, and then the car door closing. Jacob jumps,            
          dropping the joint into his lap where it burns.                  
          He picks up the joint carefully, stands up, goes to the      
          window, tripping on clothes while trying not to trip. He peeks out.                                     
                    It’s Thomas! He’s home!                                
                    So?! He can’t catch us!                                
          Daniel laughs at Jacob.                                          
                    Relax, Jake. How often does that                       
                    idiot come into my room?                               
          Jacob turns around and starts panicking, frantically looking     
          around the room.                                                 
                    He’ll smell it in the hallway!                         
          Jacob whips his hand around real fast in a vain attempt to clear     
          the air.                                                         
                    So turn the fan on!                                    
          Daniel points to a desktop fan across the room. Jacob goes       
          to it, inspects it, but shakes his head.                        
                    It’s not good enough! It’ll just                       
                    spread the smell around more!                          
          Daniel laughs more. Jacob spots a can of shaving cream           
          across the room, the scented kind. He dashes over to it as       
          he hears the front door close downstairs. He grabs the can       
          of shaving cream, shakes it while moving back to the fan.          
          Jacob removes the metal guard around the fan blades, then     
          squirts cream into his hand. Then starts carefully            
          spreading the cream onto the fan blades.                         
                    Jake...what are you doing?                             
                    If I put the cream on the fan, and                     
                    turn the fan on, it’ll blow the                        
                    scent around the room.                                 
          Jacob looks sincerely at Dan.                                    
                    It always smells good in the                           
                    bathroom after you shave.                              
          Daniel laughs.                                                   
                    You really think that’s going to                       
          Jacob does not answer. He is too busy coating the fan            
          blades. Done, he wipes his cream-covered hand on      
          his shirt and switches on the fan, but to the highest setting.      
          The fan immediately starts up, gets to top speed in a         
          couple seconds. It suddenly sprays a straight line of            
          shaving cream in an outward circle. That line goes all           
          around: from the desk to the wall, across the ceiling and then
          straight down Jacob’s middle. He jumps from the surprise and switches     
          the fan off. Daniel is rolling on the floor laughing. Jacob 
starts chuckling, and that quickly turns into loud laughing too.

So there you have it! Those are two of the scenes from my script! You'll have to forgive me for giving "useless" scenes - in the sense that I cannot yet include scenes that give away the actual plot or important stuff like that. So I hope you've enjoyed.

Let me know what you think! Comment below! Thanks for reading!


(Read the title of this post while playing the "Pause" noise from Super Mario Bros. in your head)

How long do you go before feeling guilt for not writing?

Wow. It's Friday, and I have not written anything this whole week. There is one thing that I did accomplish, though. In my previous post, "Plans", I talked about the next few writing exercises I wanted to develop into full works. I went and detailed those plans out on a notes page. Came up with tentative titles for each one and a brief tagline so I can remember what it's about when it's time. That's not exactly something to go jumping and dancing about, but at least I did something creative in lieu of writing for my current piece.

There is one more thing, then, according to what I've just mentioned. ...I now have a working title for my current exercise that I am somewhat satisfied with.

Before, I was calling it "My Brother is Lost", but that felt weak and not as specific as I wanted it. I haven't been troubling with a title, because it's not necessary at this point, but I want to be able to call it something. That's what I had for a while, and I wasn't happy with it. So, after coming up with that list of upcoming plans, I included my current one and created a title for it I was less angry with: "My Missing Brother".

The reason I was willing to deal with the first tentative title (so many T's!) was because of how ambiguous it was. The same for this new one. What I like about them both is that, when spoken, it can apply to either of the two brothers my story is about! Gasp! Plot! Redirection! Is that a twist I see?! ...No. I guess not. But I do like the duality the titles allow. So this new one, "My Missing Brother", is much better to me. Which do you prefer?

So I've been teasing and promising a bit of work from my piece, to show what I've been working on, and I could...that's no problem. So I suppose I could do that. In my next post. And that may just be later today. I need to figure out which scene I want to preview. I think I have the right we'll see. Thanks for reading! Catch ya later!

Monday, August 8


Ladies and gentlemen, I do now so proudly present my reaction to my first, unofficial and unbiased review of my work so far. Please turn off all cell phones, pagers and electronic devices and refrain from any flash photography, as it frightens the writing. Thank you.

Do you only have finished work critiqued?

In my previous post, "Cavalry", I mentioned making a friend who is a writer (or a person who enjoys writing, however he wants to identify himself :D). I mentioned the excitement at possibly helping each other out by reviewing our work. This is necessary - and I say "necessary" more generally, not so much that I need to be the one - because artists and creators and usually very critical of their work...and require unbiased opinions. Basically, someone who doesn't know the person and doesn't have a personal history that could possibly be at stake based on how you review their creation. I say "unofficial" above because this person is not a script doctor and does not run a paid script reviewing service. This is just writer to writer.

So a real quick progress update: I am into Act 2 of the script, and have reached a temporary stopping point in terms of moving forward. I have since gone back through the first Act to strengthen it and add scenes that I felt needed to be there. The script is about 50 pages now. This is what I sent to my friend.

I am grateful that he agreed to read it in the first place. I am more grateful that he provided such a detailed and lengthy critique. It shows me that he cares about the story and, further, the success of the completed project. I do want a review from someone who doesn't care at some point...but not quite yet.

So, the following were the strongest points he made:

  • Expository dialog instead of showing it
  • My "action" text being too book-form
  • More character differentiation and staying true to those characters
  • Other general dialog issues
In response to his review, I did do a bit of defending...but I do not believe it was a knee-jerk defense. I accepted his critique, and am all the better for it. I cannot wait to go back through and take a closer look at what he said. But there were certain things that needed defending simply because of their nature.

For example my direction and "action", the business of the script, was written too much in "prose form". This was something that I know and do purposefully. I have mentioned in previous blog posts that I am writing without any specific structure - just a general one. This includes writing in details that will later be removed or translated. I enjoy writing in this format, explaining how characters feel at certain times, and the purpose behind their actions, right in the business. This helps me for later, when I do more streamlining. I can turn those thoughts into actions or that purpose can become visible. I don't like to nail things down too securely until the first draft is finished. I want to be able to look at everything at a distance in order to zoom in on the details.

The second thing I had to explain were a couple of character-based things. One was how I had a brief voice-over "monologue" type deal in the beginning being made by a young boy. He mentioned two things: how the words being said were beyond the child's years and that, since there was a young boy on the screen we did not need the monologue. The thing about this monologue is thatboth of those very valid points do serve a greater purpose within the script and story. Since the script was not finished when my friend read it, I cannot blame him for that critique - because, otherwise, he would have been correct.

The other character-based thing that I had to defend was Jacob's character flaw. And here is where I realized something that hadn't occurred to me before - if I have to defend and explain Jacob's flaw...then it's not obvious or at least sincere. So I now know I have to strengthen that and make it more apparent.

Other than that, he made all very valid, very poignant observations. I know that there's dialog that needs work, I know that there are characters that need some reworking and some tweaking. Basically, my work is not done. Not that it ever was before my friend's review, but I'm glad to have had this information now...and not later when I may have been more unaware of it. 

I'm excited to start posting excerpts from my exercise! Very soon! In fact, I may just put up one of my favorite scenes so far.

Saturday, August 6


I cannot say enough about the change I had in my heart and mind.

What, specifically, makes you happiest about writing?

I'll try to put it into just one word: OUTSTANDING

I can't remember ever being this happy while writing. I mean, sure, I'm always all psyched up and excited about my current project when I start. But that always used to fizzle out. And then the frustration would set in. After that...the perpetual break from writing.

I was never serious about it, I guess. That had to be a part of it.

Well, everyone, since my incredible transformation...I have been writing non-stop for over a week. Every single day I sit down and I write. I don't stop writing. The best part of it is that I do not feel any sort of stress and no sort of pressing need to "fulfill my destiny" as a writer or whatever the hell.

I am happy.

I can't believe I can say that and actually know what it means. I thought I was happy writing before, but I was always met with anger and depression when I hit that inevitable wall. Since realizing the root of my problem and discovering the reason I feel the NEED to write, and therefore creating all that stress, I've been on cloud nine.

I can now say that I have completed over 40 pages of the script's first draft. I feel like this story is flowing naturally, and everything is coming together in the way that it needs to. It's unbelievable. I haven't felt like my writing has ever been this successful. Now I have a chance.

I am still writing just for the love of it. I am not writing to be a super successful writer - a household name. The joy I am getting, that happiness that I understand now, is coming strictly from actually putting the words on the page. That is what I love. If I one day become someone people talk about like Tarantino, Cameron, Sorkin, the Cohens, the Wachowskis...well, that's just a bonus.

I am not a writer. I am a creator. And I create through writing.

More details on my current exercise soon. I just felt the need to express how awesome it's been this past week.

Friday, August 5


I feel like writing about what I have planned for myself for when I'm done with my current writing exercise. I feel like I can really plan forward now that I feel good about writing and am more confident in finishing an exercise.

How many ideas do you have planned?

My wife always tells me, whenever I bring up future writing, "one thing at a time!" She knows how easily I can be distracted from what I'm currently working on by the allure of another exercise. It has happened before, I've abandoned projects to work on something else...but I always felt it was more of a decision than a distraction in those cases. Anyway, she does a good job making sure I stay on track.

But I don't see the harm in planning ahead so that I know what I'm doing later. I mean, the old adage goes that you're only as good as your next what-have-you, right? So I'm just trying to keep that true for myself: I may be creating with this one exercise now, but it's no good if I have no idea what I'll be doing next.

That being said, here are my plans.

Currently, I am developing the exercise about the brothers trying to reconnect in retro Cleveland. I'm making good progress with my method of less structured writing. There is a big part of myself in this story, too. I consider this the first "half" of my own personal story.

Next on my list of exercises is the other "half" of my personal story. It actually deals with a young man who struggles with completing writing projects, but has a lot of potential. He's suddenly presented with an easy way out, takes it, and it blows up in his face.

After that exercise, I plan on developing this idea I had about buccaneering on the high seas! This one will, no doubt, require LOTS of research. But it's a neat idea that came to me suddenly one day. Who knows?

I feel like doing all of that will really give me the experience I need to tackle this HUGE, ambitious story I created years ago. It was way beyond my scope then, and there was no way this David could beat that Goliath at that time of my life. I'm very excited about the idea of returning to this incredible story and adapting it to the screenplay format (it was in novel form before). So that's the next exercise. It's a fantasy genre adventure that spans hundreds of years, and multiple chapters. Very excited.

Then, I think, I am going to try and put together this idea that's also based off of my life, and the lives of a few very good friends of mine. They originally had the idea to write a stageplay that incorporated all the funny inside jokes they enjoy together. They mentioned that the problem with it was it never got off the ground. I think I could really make a heartfelt story out of it, concerning friends and how growing up together can affect each person. So that's what I'll plan on.

Edited 8/12/11 for another idea that came to me:

I have something else finally. It's a story revolving around the creation of the universe in the event known as The Big Bang, and how it relates to humanity in the current time. I'm very excited about this one, and it, too, will require TONS of research, which I welcome!
Edited 8/22/11 for another idea that came to me:

Inspired by a true story, I came up with the tale of siblings who've never known their father and are always told how great he was, and they are finding they have to form their own opinions. This one, I feel, has a lot of potential. I love the reality of it.

Those are my ideas for now. I have more sitting in the wings, but I don't want to plan everything out TOO far ahead, to allow for other things to cook and develop. But this is pretty exciting as it is. Now...BACK TO WORK FOR ME!

Monday, August 1


So I met another fellow writer (or my newly-defined case "person who loves to write") last night and we really hit it off. Apparently he has works in progress AND works that are finished! I know! Finished! Who'd have thought it's possible?

How do you act around new friends who write?

Point's always nice to have yet another set of so-far unbiased eyes to look over my exercises.
(again, "exercises" is the new word for "projects" in order to make it sound less like work)

I'm pretty excited because, already, we've agreed to look at each other's stuff and offer opinions. He, like myself, judges his work harshly even in the face of others giving him shining compliments. Then again, these "others" are good friends of his. I explained my two-part theory to him:
- That writers, and artists in general, are usually hypercritical of their work, even if it is really good;
- and to never seek advice or approval from close friends and family...because they are biased.
He seemed to agree with me on that, so I offered myself as a completely stand-alone judge to take a look at this work that our mutual friend said was outstanding (that the author says is bad).

One of my previous points in my blog was how I have a lack of people to successfully bounce off of in terms of writing and ideas. Things like that really help psyche me up for creating. It looks like the universe is answering my need by presenting another opportunity. Here is another creative mind with which I can hopefully learn and grow from. Hopefully I can also provide that back. Maybe this goes nowhere, who knows?

In other news, my own exercise is limping along - it got somewhat injured during my own mental breakdown/breakthrough - and so I am trying to make it fun and exciting for me again. Still in Act 1 of the screenplay, and I've decided to more take it easy in terms of structure and pacing. Next to dialog, pacing is probably the thing with which I have the hardest time. So I'm not going to pay as much attention to that for this first draft...and I'll just let it all flow. Later, when I rewrite, I'll focus it more and fit it into a neatly paced structure.

That's all for now. Still not enough written to provide samples - and nothing too interesting to show either. But soon.