Write off the Map…

When I went Freelance I had all these grand visions of huge writing output.  All the scripts I’d crank out and the novel I’d finish and the short story compilation I’d finally get around to wrapping up and…


With editing, and Everyday Driver, I quickly found myself writing less than I did when I had a full time studio job!  Over time I realized that editing actually uses many of the same skills and part of my brain as my writing, so I was getting that need fed.

But I also realized I’d become as soured to that part of the business as everything else.  I just didn’t want to write and do the little “writer with a new script dance”.  It felt like going through the motions.

So I didn’t write for a long time.  (6 months or so, which is a long time for me….)  Then I started a script, – A Sci-fi big idea – got 1/2 way in… and stopped.  Which I’ve never done.  I just suddenly felt the whole life of that script unfolding before me and I didn’t want to go down the path of rewrites and reshaping and meetings for the idea I was working on.  Interestingly… since stopping that script I’ve had a lot of good thoughts for reshaping it and making it a script less likely to be sold and more likely to be made as a low-mid budget piece.

… I digress.

The point here is the completely different script which finally really got me writing again…. I’m nearly 90 pages in, and hoping it’ll come in under 120.  Those of you that know me know I have a length problem with my first drafts.  Especially when the subject is large…

… This script takes place during the first crusade.  So, you can imagine my concern.

The thing about it, though… I really have no idea if it’s gonna work for anyone but me.  Here’s an idea that takes place during the first freaking crusade!  Let’s see:  Period piece,  Religous themes,  Hordes of extras, – none of these are typically good ideas for a spec script.

But it’s an idea I’ve had for over a decade.  And when it first struck me I knew I wasn’t old enough to write it yet. In fact it’s the only script idea I’ve ever been afraid of.  So here it comes, this year – suddenly rising in me as the script I want to write.  And I’m breaking all kinds of rules as I go.

Essentially, I’ve got a story which is one man’s struggle with God.  Even against God.  There’s not very much real crusading, in spite of the setting.  I’m doing weird things with the structure, the villian, the love interest.  If I were reviewing an outline of the script for someone else I’d tell them to start again and be more traditional.

I guess it’s safe to say I’m writing it for me.  Hoping it will work for anyone / everyone else.  Yet knowing that more than anything I have to get it out of me.  Struggle with God.  Even against God.

And wouldn’t you know it… I’ve thought of a couple things I really want to write when this is done.  More “normal” things.  “We now return you to your regular program.”

If I’m lucky this script will resonate with some readers.  If not, it’s been a long time coming and some much needed writer therapy.


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