Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm now in the middle of two re-writes and both are going well, or at least they're going. While writing the first drafts, I thought both would be a walk in the park, and a year later (!) I'm having to pull up much of the foundation of both and start from scratch.

On one, I thought I was super clever, writing off the top of my head (as if that has ever worked for me) in my goal of writing a finished screenplay in 10 days. It ended up being closer to 2 weeks - but still quite a feat. And while I did get a major comedy producer attached, all of their development notes are things that had I let the process take the time it should take, I might have noticed on my own and wouldn't have to re-start by doing all that character work, mapping out all the relationships and how they work, getting to the heart of the theme, etc... now (when I'm blindingly busy).

I'm also writing a script for Lifetime, which I did thorough prep work on, but it was all "required" prep work, meaning the network needed those outlines. I should have down much more extensive character work for myself until I loved each character and knew everything about them. Now, it's the same deal, the re-write is really in developing all of the "secondary" characters. And even though they don't know the problem is I wasn't in love with all of those characters to begin with. I know it. So... back to the drawing board.

I remember Toni Morrison once saying she doesn't start writing until she knows what soap the characters use. So this week when I write, I'll remember it's okay for it to take longer so I can do all of that character work, it's okay to spend a month or longer notecarding so that I get rid of all of those stale ideas I got from other movies and get underneath them to the ideas that are fresh - and mine, it's okay to outline until I get it right, then pitch that to all my friends until I have a story that keeps people's interest.

Do the work now, don't take the shortcut, or I'll have to do it all over again anyway...

This is me not taking the shortcut in Mexico...

... and a couple more from the weekend in Mexico


  1. "There are no shortcuts" is a theme in my life and something I say to myself daily... especially now that I'm a mom. But with art, real art... there are no short cuts that don't lead to long drawbacks. Well said mama!

  2. I fell your process. I've been "rewriting" my second script since March... after having it critiqued, or should I say the living daylights analyzed out of it. Having to accept that I need to re-sequence events, and do more in-depth research has kept me from even looking at it! So ditto - no shortcuts. I like how Kim puts it: shortcuts lead to long drawbacks. Best wishes!