The Payoff



And, er, a whole lot of flexibility.

I nearly shelved my screenplay.  I was stuck in the first rewrite and couldn’t figure out where I had gone wrong.  There was something off about the storyline.  Something that didn’t feel right.  Great ideas, seemingly poor execution.  I poured through my reference books, but couldn’t find anything to set me in a new direction and taser my mind.  

Then I started working through The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra.  It’s the perfect guide for me right now because the author dices the elephant into bite-sized pieces- 10-minute nibbles, to be exact.  I can’t give a full review of the book because I’ve only worked through a portion of it, but thus far Pilar Alessandra’s suggestions have been invaluable.  She takes you step-by-step through the writing process and offers advice to help lift you out of a hole.  Switching up sequences, reworking a beat-sheet in nonlinear structure, play up the “what-ifs” for all their worth.

Through one of her suggestions, I decided to work backwards through the storyline and I figured out the problem, thus now I can find a solution.  I have a remodel on my hands, but I can do it and the story will be better for it.

Someone told me the other day that I’ll be stuck in this office for life.  She knows I write and she knows I’m trying to do something more than this, but she said I was a “lifer.”  I would never get out of here.  She said it even after I reminded her that I was writing.  Her comment pissed me off, but now I thank her for saying it because it set a fire under my ass.  I thought, who in the hell does she think she is to tell me that?  She doesn’t determine my future, my existence.  Well, she said it because it appears to be true.  I am working my tiny office and I have been for quite some time.  Yes, I am thankful that I have a job in this economy.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I want more.  More, I tell you! 

I’m working toward my goals, even if it’s 10 minutes at a time.  I will succeed.  It might be a year from now, but I will get there. 

Naysayers, be damned.  I refuse to listen to you.


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