Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Joy of Deadlines

I don't consider myself to be a particularly disciplined writer. I don't understand people who write set hours every single day. I have terrible writing habits. The depth and breadth of my procrastination is staggering. Yet I have plenty of material in 'various stages of disrepair' as I usually describe it. When I'm "in the zone" time has no meaning. When I'm not, my creativity is usually diverted into exploring new ways not to be creative.

It was explained to me once the difference between a novelist and a dramatist is that novelists have this deep, burning passion to write whereas dramatists have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the keyboard. In my case that is definitely true. And what helps is a good old fashioned deadline.

Luckily, several are upcoming which will sharpen my appetite to write and get my poor addled brain into gear - two US based screenwriting competitions and the AWG Monte Miller Award all due in early March. As well as submission of the script if i'm shortlisted for the local Warnock Award. The added incentive is registration fees so if I'm going to spend money submitting I better make damn sure the script is in the best possible shape.

To that end, I have notes on my feature from people whose opinions I hold in high regard. This feedback has my confidence at an all time high yet there is much hard work still to be done. Luckily, the structure is in pretty good shape so it's mainly character work and really honing the emotional through line for my protagonist. I say luckily because I don't have the time to do justice to any major surgery which is what would be required if the narrative structure was flawed. To extend the medical analogy, this might be likened more precisely to elective surgery.

Between now and the end of the month I'll be mulling over the feedback and really working the script. So procrastination off and creativity on!

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