I finally achieved my first goal: I created a complete outline for my screenplay. I’m ten days behind my original timeline, but I forgive myself. Between work, meal times, bath time, reading time, and “chase Maya” time, I put my pen to paper when I can do so without falling asleep during the process. Plus, it’s not easy writing when there’s a sick toddler constantly climbing on my lap and testing the elasticity of my face by sticking her fingers in my eyes and her thumbs up into my nostrils, and then pulling as if trying to peel the skin off my bones. She’s incredibly serious about it. No giggles. Not a hint of a smile. She focuses with absolute determination.
My face is coming off one of these days.
Regardless, my first step is done and then some. I have created not a simple outline, but more of a beat sheet. A three-page, 113-line beat sheet. Not every scene is listed, but ideas are noted. It has been quite the process. I don’t like to make outlines or plan much when it comes to my writing. Outlines are for college papers, not creative ventures, right? I’d prefer that a mystical muse take over and voila! I’d awake having written a masterpiece. However, I live in the real world and am very much aware that a certain amount of planning is necessary. I’m not on an aimless road trip; I am writing a screenplay. Outlines are most helpful. Maybe now that I’ve accepted that fact, I’ll complete a project instead of sinking a third through it. We’ll see. I do now know that I’m incapable of muddling my way through a story if I don’t create a road map.
I also wrote nearly twenty pages of character sketches, dialogue, and scene snippets during my outlining process. There are a couple of murky areas in the story, which I suppose is to be expected. I’ll figure them out along the way, and then I’m sure countless scenes will change or morph into each other or be forever deleted during revisions. I constantly remind myself to leave out anything that doesn’t serve the plot or reveal something about the character. Extraneous material is not permitted. Of course, such material is guaranteed to burrow its way into my screenplay, but hopefully my reminders will help curtail the waste. On the flip side, I don’t want to think too much or I’ll impede the flow of writing.
I don’t know what to expect from Fade In to Fade Out, so it’s going to be an experience. Any advice?
In non-writing (and basically worthless) news, I realized that my boost in self-confidence coincided with cutting my hair about a month ago. Five inches gone then, and today I’m slicing off another two, leaving the ends of my hair almost tickling my shoulders. I’m not sure which came first- the boost or the cutting- but I received another kick of confidence when Lari told me I had not a lick of gray. Sweet. Thank you, genes.