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So, here we are. A little over 3 months from the first review in Week 6 (7 – 13 March 2016). The first review was after only 1,5 month of the start of this journey, on February 1. Ok, enough numbers. Now let’s talk results. A week later, I set these following goals, that on June 21, the start of summer, I wanted to:
– have figured out, written out & fallen in love with my main characters, know who they are, including the internal forces of antagonism.
– have the story written out in general sequences, no specific scene details yet, knowing the inciting incident, the central plot, subplots, climax and resolution.
– anything else is a bonus, because I am keeping up with the rest of my DIY film school, which will only improve the screenplay with the gazillion ideas & lessons that come from that.
In any other business, I would say that I failed at reaching those goals by this date. In this creative business and especially fiction writing, I say that no, I did not obtain those goals exactly, but after 1,5 months of writing my first screenplay, how I could know how the process would go exactly? And if they were realistic goals. I do however think it was good to set these goals, because they did push me forward, to keep working at it. They forced me to get to know the characters and dive into and develop the story (which I did, although not as much I set in the goals). It resulted in in-depth discoveries on many subjects: antagonism, theme, motivation again, subtext, the influence of photography, the importance of struggles. But also obstacles rose up: similarities with other stories, getting distracted by yet another story. And perhaps even more importantly I faced (and tackled some) personal obstacles, perfectionism being one of them again, doubts, insecurities and being fed up, which all comes with being in the arts. And then, also like in a real telling of a story, there came HELP (Week 16 # Unexpected Help). And what incredible timing that was!
And all of this happened, because I went searching, digging, exploring, discovering. Writing is a discovery. And I put on my full explorer’s uniform and went sailing. I am really ‘hooked’ now, too far in to let it go at this point. Over that threshold, like in a rollercoaster, when the cart is still climbing up and up, technically, you can still stop the cart from going on the ride. But once you’re over that threshold, gravity takes over and you’re in it for the ride. Ok, maybe not exactly the same, because of course I can still quit right now, at any point actually. But, just like with motivation and weighing your choices, which I wrote about already many times, I feel like I have invested too much to let it go now. I want the full ride. And this feels like only the beginning!
So, have I underestimated this journey? Absolutely. In many ways. For one, how tough it is. But, and for this I am in awe, also how incredibly educational it is. How much I am learning and especially how deep that is. And also how much I would fall in love with this. No clue, no idea. Of course, I knew as I was diving into this ocean, which I have wanted to do for a long time, I would discover stuff and learn stuff. But by no means this much and again this feels like only the beginning! It’s not a city, a country, a continent and not even a galaxy either. It is a universe. That is how expansive this field is. The art of storytelling. The art of screenwriting in particular, in which I include storytelling. I think many people underestimate it. Myself included actually. I knew it was big and deep, but not this big and deep. And with that also the amount of people who simply stay on the surface. Either don’t care about doing it right, be bad or mediocre or are actually trying, but simply don’t have the talent or don’t want to invest more, because what they produce is good enough for people to go see. If it sells, why become better? And so then they don’t know how much and deep this universe is and how much more they could learn. How much better they can become. Back to the energy saving behaviour. Using as little energy as possible to reach the best possible outcome. And that doesn’t mean the best there could be, but the best to get by. And for some that is enough. Luckily of course you also discover the other end of the spectrum. The ones who not only get it right, but from whom the true love and passion for it pours out, which then shows in the results, in the product, which leads to getting it right. I know in which group I would put myself, well, on which path I am anyways.
I am on this journey with the aim of getting it right. Which started with a lot of love and passion for storytelling, having grown on me since early age, packed with some experience and knowledge, which I picked up along the way, and now set out towards that aim and hopefully resulting in successfully writing screenplays. Yes, you read that right. Because one screenplay is not enough. More on that another time. But, just like I said in Week 19 # Just Write That Shitty First Draft!, “my unconscious desire is actually to dare more and to become more confident at the craft itself, as an artist and as a person even. And that is much more valuable than any well written screenplay”. And that goal is definitely on its way to being achieved. I think that falls under the ‘anything else is a bonus’, don’t you?
In a week the ‘unexpected help’ will start with the free screenwriting course and I am so happy to be taken under someone’s wings at this point. Of course I don’t know how it will all go, how much time it will take and how it will effect actively trying to write this screenplay, but it’s not like I was writing on it every day now, was I? I see it as the next developmental steps on this journey. I was on this tiny little raggedy boat and here alongside of me this big sturdy ship is coming, hoisting me aboard, boat and all. Giving me a much needed rest, getting my boat more seaworthy and myself, the captain of my little boat, much more equipped. Doesn’t that sound like a vacation to you? At this point it sure does to me. And I am going to indulge in this feeling now, because I have a feeling it will probably be even more labour intensive than the last couple of months. But at least I don’t have to steer the boat myself for a while. And that to me is vacation. Welcome summer!