Sunday, June 17, 2007

On the Job Training

Now, you may have wondered why I'm suddenly so taken with memes. Or not.

Well, I always kinda liked them. I think they're the equivalent of taking down one's pants in Times Square without the risk of STDs.

Still, kinda like, is no reason to turn a blog into a neverending repost of other people's ideas, no matter how amusing I find them.

The actual reason is the Third Act of my current script is driving me crazy -- by, among other things, trying to start on page 62. This is really bad news.

So crazy, in fact, last week I considered giving up writing entirely and turning my hand to, oh say, housework and gardening. No shit.

I said to my self, "Self, with housework and gardening, there will be no unfulfilled expectations. No crushed hopes. Nary an impossible dream. We will reap, exactly what we sow, and still have time for afternoon tea and a nap."

Self said back, "I bet you don't remember where you left the vacuum cleaner."

This continued to seem like a good idea until I spent an actual day, houseworking and gardening.

But, I thought of this.

Test Your Screenwriting Acumen.

1. You read all the Structure Gurus and it's not turning out the way you planned. What do you do?

a. I don't need no stinking Guru.
b. You're mistaken. This was my plan.
c. Start over on Page 1. You poor, poor dear.
d. Continue to stare at the computer screen until the solution arrives or your retinas crisp.

2. It sounded like a MOVIE idea when it was still in your head, but after 62 pages, you doubt it would make a viable comic. You think ...

a. Comics are BIG in the movies now.
b. Page 62 always sucks.
c. Stop reading the Zoetrope Main Board.
d. Just quote Goldman to all you encounter.

3. Your local theater has 3 screens showing Pirates 3, 2 screens showing Shrek 3, and 1 each with Knocked Up, Fantastic Four 2 and Mr. Brooks. You ...

a. Stay home and watch TV. No wait. Deadwood's canceled and Sopranos are over.
b. Go to the library.
c. Throw a hissy fit at the snack bar.
d. Tell everyone Kevin Costner is still cute.

4. A friend emails you a review of the latest, greatest, best-ever, screenwriting book. You ...

a. Gotta have it. Hope springs eternal.
b. Join a convent. At least it will be quiet.
c. Sign that friend up to 27 porno email lists.
d. Stare at the 158 screenwriting books you already own until your eyeballs are as dry as British wit.

5. If you weren't a Screenwriter, you would be ...

a. An astronaut. NASA is always hiring.
b. A veterinarian. Puppies are cute.
c. A writer in another field with more respect, less frustration and fewer competitors.*
d. A gardener.

My answers ---

1. D
2. B
3. C and D
4. D
5. A

*Remember that great joke from Get Shorty?

What kind of writing pays the most?

Hold-up notes.


  1. NASA is hiring. Seriously - they're looking for people to experiment on, um, that is, go on a manned Mars expedition. They probably won't let people with crispy retinas go, though. Saaaaay.... protag is suddenly a blind guy who goes on mission to Mars - that would make a great turning point for Act 3, wouldn't it?

  2. Sounds like an episode of Twilight Zone.


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