Sunday, June 28, 2009

Writing... hard. At least good writing (or is it writing well) is hard. I've written two books of my own - Starart which is now a sought-after collector's item because of the musicians' artworks, not my writing; and Everybody I Shot Is Dead, which has actually garnered its fair share of praise for my writing.

Shortly after my first book, I ghost-wrote an erotic ya' didn't know that! It was called Gabriel: The Magic Watch and was about a magical pocket watch that gave women orgasms. I am not shitting you. I think the guy I wrote it for (the concept was his, not mine) did a vanity publishing deal so I don't think you can find it anywhere (thank goodness for that). Anyway, he was a really cool old guy (I'm sure he's long dead now) who owned the block of Sunset Boulevard just East of The Roxy. Ah, memories. I think I have a copy of the book kicking around somewhere that I will uncover during my ongoing deconstruction. If I do I may just post a couple of pages for y'all to drool over.

As most of you know, I also write screenplays. I started that discipline several, many, nearing double-digit years ago. I had no idea when I started this trek how much of a learning curving was involved. But as time went on and I figured that out, it was too late to turn back. I couldn't possibly give up without success. Success for me meaning seeing something Ive written up on the silver screen. Will that ever happen? Who knows. It has a lot to do with a lot of things besides the ability to write a filmable script.

But I think I'm getting closer. With at least two of my scripts. One of them I am producing - which does not make my chances better by any stretch of the imagination because producing a movie is no easy task...but I do have an amazing director who wants to do it and an equally amazing casting director who believes she can attach what's known as A-list talent. We'll see. Hopefully sooner than later.

The other script happens to be the very first one I wrote. After placing in one of those hoity-doity contests and several rewrites later, it was optioned by a very legitimate producer once...and went through development with the producer and a director (one of the best learning experiences a writer can have) but did not get made. I got it back and did many more rewrites - read many several times - to bring it to the current draft. So many rewrites, as a matter of fact, that I'm past the point of knowing whether it's any good or just a load of bullshit. To the point that a couple of months ago I reread it before sending it out to a producer and I couldn't understand a few of the scenes in the first least how they transitioned from one to the other.

So, I did another quick rewrite in hopes of creating a better story flow and took the first 17 pages into a monthly reading group I attend. The piece was read out loud by various actors and I listened...thinking it sounded very pedestrian. When it was done the comments were all positive. "Really?" I kept thinking to myself as the compliments ensued. I don't think there was a change suggested by anyone. And I didn't even know most of these people. I sent it off to said producer and several weeks later got an email back saying, "It's a GREAT read." Of course, he's a producer with no money to make the movie. I took the second 17 pages into the group today. There were several people who hadn't heard the first 17 and it had been a couple of months since the others had. Still, I got the same reaction. One girl even came up to me after the group and said something like, "I don't even like thrillers but I loved this."

I'm still on the fence. There was one section in today's read that actually moved me but overall I really have no idea. It could still be bullshit. At any rate, I'm guessing somebody should buy the damn thing already. I've had it for too long. It's really time for it to leave the nest. Somebody should make a movie out of it so I can see if it's any good...once and for all.

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