Friday, 31 August 2012

Finishing a screenplay is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.

Truman Capote almost said this, except he said book, not screenplay.

At 01.37 a.m. this morning I finally wrote...

(Well, actually I wrote - ends - because I'm a real grown up screenwriter and that's what we do, see?)

Do I feel as though I've just shot a child in the back garden?

No, I do not.

I feel so exhausted that I'm not even elated. Yet.

I'll read through it all in a minute. I hope I don't think it's a pile of utter rubbish. I hope I like it. Even if I don't, there's not much time to do anything about it before I submit it to the contest (deadline 18 hours away)

The main thing is,

I did it!
Day 30 Update
14 pages! (Blimey!)

And here endeth the need to update!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Night time is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.

Catherine O'Hara (Canadian-American actress, writer and comedienne) might be right.

But she isn't. She's wrong.

Or only partly right. Maybe.

Put my indecisiveness down to lack of sleep.

I decided yesterday evening, after being busy all day, that I would sit down and I would write my screenplay until it was finished, even if it meant working through the night.

At 1.30 a.m. I was so tired I couldn't go on.  I thought I'd lie down for a few minutes...

Then it was morning...

SO, Catherine O'Hara:

1. Yes, all the ideas were there
2. Yes, everyone else  was asleep.
3. NO night time is NOT really the best time to work...

if you can't keep awake.

Day 29 Update
 Only 4 pages (even after all that!)BUT outlines of the few remaining scenes...

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

“I'm very brave generally, he went on in a low voice: only today I happen to have a headache.”

...said Tweedledum.

(I do love the original illustrations - by Tenniel - but I must say, I'm very partial to the Tim Burton film characters.)

That aside, most of yesterday and last night and this morning I've had a crashing headache. Not even with the pleasure beforehand of drinking a few glasses of Prosecco!

I have to keep writing though. Be brave. Drink lots of water. Don't drink lots of coffee.

I REALLY can't wait to finish my screenplay. It's as though my whole life's a bit on hold until it's complete. I'm imagining I'll have so much time on my hands afterwards....

Day 28 Update
3 and a bit new pages plus other rewrites

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Safe, I decided, didn't leave much room for fun.

From North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley. (Haven't read it yet, but lots of good reviews)

This cat is no fun, he just lies in the sun...

By Fesseldreg
 I could've done that yesterday. When it wasn't raining. It would have been safer than writing.

But not nearly as much fun.

These past few weeks have been a revelation to me. I have given myself the gift of time to write and rediscovered the joy and the fun.

Here's what J.K. Rowling says (and, NO, Peter, I am STILL not going to be the next J.K.Rowling. I'm going to be the first and only C.A.Coxon.)

"The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg."

I'll try to remember that.

Day 27 Update
5 new pages and lots of additions to accommodate a slight change in direction

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 27 August 2012

A stale mind is the devil's breadbox

Perhaps it's because I'm not Professor Mary Bly, B.A., Harvard College; M.Phil., Oxford University; Ph.D., Yale University?

Or perhaps it's because my mind is so stale? 

But I don't understand this metaphor. Quite.

Sarah Graham
I suppose it means something like...a stale mind allows easy access to malign thoughts.

I have to tell you that yesterday my mind started off dangerously stale but became fresher as the day went on.

Don't ask me why, or how. It just did.

New writing strategy for the day: If you can't write the next scene then forget it and write the scene after that.

(Somewhere, I shall have to accumulate all my strategies. Who knows? My Iced Currant Bun Method could become famous!)

This feature-length screenplay writing lark is SO very similar to running a marathon, for me. In marathon running, some people hit the wall at about 20 miles...

Ralph Steadman (Of course! Who else could it be?)
  ...whereas for me, once I get to a certain point - around 16 miles - I KNOW I can finish. It's the mid period - say 9 to 16 miles that I find toughest - so many miles to go.

I reckon I'm at around 20 miles now, on the homeward stretch but still with a few miles to go - but the end is in sight. The medal. The space blanket. The elation...

Day 26 Update
6 pages and going steadily

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Da requiem; requietus ager bene credita reddit

I just thought I'd wake up your Sunday brain with some Ovid.

Though I'm sure very few will need a translation (insert smily face) - here it is:

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop

That is the attitude I'm trying to adopt (aka justification!) for not writing a single word of my screenplay yesterday.

To scare myself: the deadline is in 5 days and 19 hours time (if I have my time zones sorted out correctly)

That's 139 hours...8340 minutes...500400 seconds (only less than that bearing in mind the time it took me to make the calculation!)

I have about another 30 pages to write...


Day 25 Update
Big fat and scary zero

Saturday, 25 August 2012

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.

Phew! THAT made me feel better to read that, Leonard Bernstein.

 ...but don't you know it's rude to point? (Except, perhaps, if you're the conductor of a symphony orchestra)

Today, my mind's having a battle with itself.

One half is in panic mode - all breathless and saying 'You've got too much to do. You'll never get it done. Don't go to London for the meeting with the film producer. You haven't the time.'

The other half is saying 'Don't be so ridiculous. What are you making such a song and dance about? You think you have too much to do? I'll show you someone who REALLY has too much to do. You can do it. All. You'll regret it forever if you skip that meeting.'

I'm not quite sure which half is winning. It goes one way, it goes the other...

So THANK YOU, Leonard Bernstein. I have a plan. I have not quite enough time.

The rest is up to me.

Day 24 Update
Oh dear. Only 1½ pages...and today it'll probably be even less.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Try as we might, we write what we write.

bg Thurston said this. She's a poet and I can't find out much about her.

A ca Coxon aside: I found her name slightly annoying, at first. WHY does she not use a capital BG? What IS her name? I searched and searched and could find nothing much at all. That was even more annoying. I like to KNOW things. Then I realised - what a very good way it was to ensure your name is memorable

That aside, yes, try as we might. we write what we write...

Oh, the strategies I've employed to get this screenplay written.

I regularly face west as part of my Feng Shui strategy to promote creative thoughts.

I make myself complete x number of pages before I'm allowed to eat another Iced Currant Bun (food of the gods)

(I'm getting used to eating stale Iced Currant Buns)

Yesterday's strategy was - I'm trying to think of a name for it...

If I have a problem, say - I can't think where a scene should go, or what will be a credible motivation for a character's next action or whatever, normally I sit and stare at the page until I go cross-eyed.

Yesterday, I wrote a list of household chores. A problem surfaced. I looked at my list. I chose a chore. I said to myself - 'Before I've finished hand-brushing the stair carpet I will have worked out how to get x to do y"

Other stair carpets available

Peter likes my new strategy.

Day 23 Update
6 pages - that's better, girl!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie said this. (Wasn't he named after a hall?)

Yes, yes, I know. Another of those annoying, sickening, unremittingly positive quotes. Leading to a positive blog.

Only because I need it. Not because you need it.

It's strange (isn't it?) how some people find positivity irritating. Why IS that? Surely better to be surrounded by people with smiles on their faces and an uplifting attitude than misery and negativity?


Okay, then. Enjoy yourself.

But don't expect me to come to the party!

Day 22 Update
5 pages and a whole lotta fun (but still not enough!)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

“Pain is temporary."

"It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?"

Lance Armstrong
 Yep, today I need a REALLY motivational quote. Up to London last night, coaching, home at 12.30 a.m., less than four hours sleep. All my choice (except the not being able to sleep bit) so I'm not complaining.

But I AM tired.

I choose pain!

And coffee.

And having the window wide open so the fresh air keeps me awake.

And another Iced Currant Bun.

Day 21 Update
2 pages and a feeling that this is NOT enough, Caroline

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.

,,,said Heraclitus.

(I'm looking at the picture, which I chose because it was jolly, and wondering which way the fish jumped.)

Yesterday was unexpected. I didn't expect it. Having dutifully informed all my clients that I'd be back at my desk (well, I'm nearly ALWAYS at my desk - but I mean, back at my desk and open for business) from 10 a.m. I expected to be inundated with work.

Nothing. No e-mails. No phonecalls. NOTHING! ALL DAY.

This was the thought process that ran through my head: Because I dared to take a week off, they have FOUND ANOTHER WRITER. Another writer who is better/cheaper/faster/more intelligent/more diligent than I am.


So instead...I carried on with the screenplay and got on more quickly with it than on the days that I took off especially to work on it.

Now THAT was unexpected.

Day 20 Update
7 pages and sailing

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 20 August 2012

If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.

No, that wasn't ME speaking. That was Michelangelo. I wouldn't be so presumptuous. I'm back to work after my week off at home. You know, the week where I was going to finish my screenplay.

Do I think I've failed? Actually not. I've completed about half of my screenplay and I'm confident I'll meet the deadline (though it will take something. A BIG something) The important thing is, that after months of stasis, I'm back to creative writing. The MOST important thing is that I'm enjoying it.

Here, for your Monday delight, are some creative interpretations of the hand detail from The Creation of Adam.

By Eresaw

By Macrolensfan

by Desirée Glanville
Day 19 Update
2 pages but I was re-painting the larder!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A large part of getting organized is learning to act from a place of self-esteem

"knowing what we want and don’t want to do, knowing what we can and can’t do, and taking care of ourselves."  says Marilyn Paul, Ph.D.

At the moment, I'm going through a frenzy of document overwhelm. All a massive story, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it. Big Time.

The course on which I'm a coach has MOUNTAINS of paperwork (note the hyperbole - there's not that much really.) I look at the sheets of paper littering my desk, I look at Google Docs and respond somewhat like this:

It's very draining being disorganised. I had never thought of it as a way of not taking care of myself until I read that quote by Marilyn Paul. While I know there are endless self-help books out there about how to get organised...

(Caroline's new reverie - I could buy hundreds of them and there'd be so many, so badly organised, I'd never be able to find the one I was looking for.)

...I like the sound of Ms. Paul's just from the title alone -It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to True Organization

That is ME! This should be my keyring.

It IS hard to make a difference when you can't find your keys, or that particular piece of paper, or that email or...

 I MIGHT buy the book. I really very often try, and fail to be organised for more than about half a day.

Day 18 Update
3 pages and lots of fun
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, 18 August 2012

My view on feng shui: don’t put your bed in front of the door because you won’t get in.

I've got a feeling this was said by Jonas Eriksson the designer, rather than Jonas Eriksson the Swedish football referee - but I might be wrong. Who knows?

(Caroline immediately embarks on a reverie about the use of feng shui in football.)

Well, I'll be jiggered! Here's an extract from an article on the very same subject by Mike Rowbottom in The Independent (2002)

"Players such as Roy Keane and David Batty have been performing their own modified version of the art for several years on the field of play, rearranging opposing teams by repositioning their players with carefully modified impacts. Actually, that's not right. Keane and Co are practising kung shui, which sounds similar but has more of a martial arts feel. Sorry, if I misled you."

 ANYWAY...I was talking to a buddy of mine who's writing a novel. His feng shui expert informed him that he would have better creative thoughts if he faced west. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. After a long period of procrastination working out which way was west - it's looking out of my study door - I tried it.

It seemed to work...

I made the mistake of telling Peter.

"I know, you could write with a rose quartz crystal balanced on top of your head to keep away Evil Spirits and wrap yourself in aluminium foil to avoid the damaging rays from mobile phone masts."

I do so much love it when I'm taken seriously.

Day 17 Update
3½ pages (note the desperation of putting in half pages) and creative west-facing thoughts.

Enhanced by Zemanta