Thursday, November 16, 2006

We should all be more like Chuck.

It's kickboxing day! Because sometimes you just need to beat things.

Jane Espenson posted about where she likes to write and I though that was interesting. She doesn't sit at a desk because that makes it feel like work. I get that.

Now that I have a laptop I like to sit on my bed with one of those lap desks and type. Some people hand write their stuff, but isn't that a big old time waster? My hand hurts if I try to write on paper. Sometimes I write at work, but usually I only get one or two pages done that way because it's not as easy to get wrapped up in your story when teenagers are constantly banging on your door to see if they can borrow your scissors.

I like to listen to music. I put on whatever would fit on the soundtrack for that moment, so I have different playlists for different moods. I have songs for depression, for violence, and for sex scenes. When I wrote my first script a few years ago I killed off the love of my lead's life because that's what I do. That's still what I do four years later. I listened to Evanescence's "My Immortal" about fifteen times while I wrote that scene and ended up with blurred vision from all the tears. That was a good death scene. The rest of the script was mediocre at best of course, but I murder people like a champ.

But I digress. I write at work and at home but I always write, even if the conditions aren't ideal. People always ask me how I get so much work done while I have a real job, and this is how:

Even if you get one page a day in, that's five pages in a week and that's better than nothing. I see a lot of people post about how they've written one script and then stop like that's some great accomplishment. And it is, but it's not enough. When's the last time you wrote a page?

Everybody's got patterns of behavior. We all have ways we like to write, certain times we like to write, a certain order of operations. And so many people use that as an excuse. You'd write, but only if you have your favorite pillow or your proper music. I love to write with music, but if I don't have any I write anyway. I don't let a week go by without writing something, even if it's only one page.

I've played the flute since the fifth grade. I'm pretty good. I'd be better, though, if I practiced more. I used to stare at my flute in the case and whine about what a pain in the ass it was to practice, but once I got it out of the case and put it together it wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd made it sound in my head. Once you sit down at that computer (or put a pen to that notepad if you're a freak who writes longhand), the flow starts and before you know it you have a page. Then another page, then another until you have a working scene. But you have to get the instrument out of the case first.

Do you think Chuck Norris ever shirks his resistance training? He didn't get those muscles by staring at his freeweights and whining about how the conditions weren't ideal for a workout. He's Walker, Texas Ranger, bitches. He fought Bruce Lee.

I'm not going to tell you to stop reading blogs and posting and get to work. Personally I use both the posting and the reading as inspiration to get started. A lot of the time I'll read something that gives me an idea, then I'll open up Movie Magic and add a line of dialogue that turns into four pages. Hell, I just read one of Bill's posts about action scenes that revoutionized my way of thinking about the weakest scene in my current script. Now I can rewrite it properly thanks to a blog post.

There are no rules about how to write, and there are no excuses for not writing. So wherever you write and however you write, make sure that you do it. Stop arguing. It's just wasting time.


  1. I just want to know what kind of music you play when writing sex scenes...

    Personally, I opt for the sex, and then write about it.

  2. Garbage. Lots of Garbage. Shirley Manson can make anything sound sexy.


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