Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Taking the plunge

Earlier this fall, I took a two-session screenwriting class through Parks & Rec here. I was reminded how much I enjoy critique sessions and how much I - big geek that I am - miss being in the classroom, both as a student and as an instructor. We had a homework assignment to complete between the two sessions, and I wrote a first scene in screenplay format for one of the movie ideas I've been toting around in my head for what seems like forever. The instructor seemed to like it, and he took the time to really go over it so that I got a lot of useful feedback to revise and move forward on the project. It felt great! A part of me felt alive again for the first time in a very long time.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I was not able to sign up for the three-part "advanced" class that followed this "beginner" class, even though I was terribly intrigued by the idea that by the end of the three sessions we would have completed the entire first act of our screenplays. In three weeks I could have had about a third of my screenplay done - albeit a first draft, but a first draft that had gone through a couple critique sessions... Words on paper, finally, instead of an idea rambling around in my head. Sounds like a bargain to me. The class will be offered again in the spring, and it's on my to-do list. The script idea's a sound one, I think. I want to work with it and finish it.

Meanwhile I've got these novel ideas floating around in my head, too, and I haven't been doing much with them at all, either. But here it is November, the month of NaNoWriMo, an opportunity to jumpstart a novel-long writing project. An opportunity not to let pass by. To encourage me, my husband devised a challenge: I do NaNoWriMo - writing a 50,000-word novel in a month - and he does NaNoEdMo - editing his 90,000+-word novel in a month. I think it will be good for both of us to be working on something.

I confess to suffering from nerves in a big, big way. I had thought about doing NaNoWriMo a couple months ago, figuring I'd take the time to finish the outline I'd started a while ago. Didn't happen. So I'm approaching this with half an outline (if that) and butterflies in my tummy. But it's past time to get off my butt and do it. Screw the fears: it's so much worse to sit around not trying.

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