Aug 9, 2012
I’ve had a copy of Strangers beside my bed for a few weeks now. Every few mornings, I pick it up and skim through it. I’ve completed my rewrites. I’m happy with it. It’s such a great feeling to finally finish a feature length screenplay. Especially after challenging myself to finish it months ago.
Strangers represents around 6 months of development and writing. But it also represents a big leap forward when it comes to confidence in my work. I love the story. It tackles themes that scare me and centers on stress and anxiety I’ve felt for a long time.
So what now? What will I do with my screenplay now that it’s finished?
My first instinct was competitions but I’m still hesitant to put myself out there. The whole point to this summer was to prove to myself that I could finish a script. But that’s all I’ve got. ONE script. Or is it? I’ve also got a seed for a tale I hope will be infinitely better than Strangers.
So my latest script will be on the bench for the foreseeable future. At least until I finish another screenplay I can be proud of. If Strangers is the best thing I’ve ever written than I have to challenge myself to top it. I still have to get better.
I started developing a brand new script about a week ago. My main character has a name and a brief history. I’m getting to know the world I want to create. I’m having fun. Hopefully, this new project will be ready in the fall as I want a first draft by the end of 2012.
Then it’s my goal to put these two scripts side by side. Can I write something better? I want to answer the following question confidently:
“Have you got any other screenplays?”
Perhaps, I’m just delaying putting myself out there? Perhaps… I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wondering if this script has what it takes to become a successful film. It’s even more tempting knowing that some answers are easily attainable whether they are good or bad. I just don’t think I’m ready for that yet.
Regardless, I set out to prove something to myself and I’ve done that. Strangers is finished and I’m on to the next challenge.
The journey continues.
And so… The Summer of Screenwriting series has come to an end. What a journey it was. It’s been 3 months since I officially completed the final draft of Strangers and I’m still proud. But the sense of accomplishment stretches far beyond FADE OUT. I laid down the gauntlet. If I hadn’t taken time away from everything to focus solely on writing, I would still be struggling through my screenplay.
The summer of screenwriting taught me to prioritize. That’s why I only post 2-3 articles a week on this blog. It leaves me more time to write. I’m still working on the same script I mentioned in the post. It has transformed into an intense drama but also a touching romance and I can’t wait to finish it.
But I’m in no hurry. I mentioned above that I wanted to have a first draft finished by the end of 2012. That won’t happen. This new project has been extremely difficult to develop and I’m not going to rush things. Maybe I’ll be finished in the Spring. Regardless, I’m excited about the journey. I’m happy when I write. I’m curious to find out what comes next for my screenplay and for myself.
I want to be a better writer. Someday, I’ll look back on this little summer experiment as a turning point. The moment when I decided to be a screenwriter again.