I’ve been blocked with my screenplay for a while now. I was sailing along perfectly well and then bam! Hit a wall. I realized that the opening sequence was unsuitable for the genre. I’m writing a romantic comedy of sorts and the opening scenes are all about action. I’m not sure the scenes flow into the story. I also noticed some discrepancies. My opening sequence, as currently written, displays my protagonist as some sort of loser/slacker thief. Funny guy, but maybe a little too douche bag-ish. His transformation in the film would be need to be too dramatic for a rom-com. Plus, it takes away from my worthless, waste-of-space antagonist. It’s not the character I have in my head. Also, what happens to his car and his belongings after the warehouse scene? It just doesn’t work.
I toyed around with it for a while, and then pretty much gave up. I set my notes aside and left it. I haven’t been writing at all for weeks now. Well, probably longer. Mentally, my energy was wasted elsewhere. I did manage to watch a few movies, read the screenplays, and then watch the movies again while following the scenes on the pages, so in a roundabout way I was still involved in the process.
Yesterday, after patiently treading through the muck for what seemed like ages, I became officially unblocked. I had my note cards at work and dug them out over my lunch. I shuffled them. Put them back in my bag. Sighed. Retrieved them from their hiding place and made myself sit with it. Or, rather, walk with it. I thought about the opening scene as I strolled down the sidewalks that circled the hospital, and from this meditative walk arose a new beginning—screen wise, that is. I felt giddy and giggled aloud. It was crazy. I jotted down a mini beat-sheet and nearly wept with joy. Even later in the afternoon when I peeked at the sequence, I felt butterflies in my stomach just as if I had a schoolgirl crush. It’s not as though the new scenes are that good; it’s the fact that I broke through the wall. I have a new opening sequence, which is more than likely not the one I will use in my final draft, but it is a leap for me.
I’m out of the rut and the ideas are flowing beautifully once again. It’s the loveliest feeling.