lettilove asked: How have you managed creating while working so much? Do you have a strict schedule? Do prompts? Any tips would be awesome!
I’ve actually been doing a pretty poor job of balancing work with writing, so I’m probably not the best person to ask about this. It’s just really hard to write when you’re exhausted from a 40+ hr work week, you know? But, what I’m slowly trying to force myself to do is find the empty spaces in my day and use them to write. I get creative and write outlines/ideas on my phone during breaks, then email them to myself so I can work on them when I get to a computer. I write in my notebook for a half hour before I go to bed. I use my off days (like today) to respond to emails and set up meetings/phone calls with my producers, and make a schedule of everything that needs to be done in the next few weeks.
It sounds way more organized and impressive written down than it is in execution, but I’m trying and I’m learning as I go. I’m always thinking about writing, and stressing over not doing enough of it, but I feel like I’m slowly discovering a system that works for me. For now, at least.
My new job allows me to buy really nice clothes, but I work 5-6 days out of the week and have to wear a uniform, so I never get a chance to wear them. :((((
I wish it was as easy for me to move someplace else as it is for so many of my friends. They see other places as chances, as means to an end, as an extension of what they want in the world. But I see them as impenetrable forces. I’ve never visited a city that I didn’t love. Because I can not imagine myself within them permanently, I instead feel appreciative of what they offer. If I were to dig deeper though (and by deeper, I mean deeper within myself), I would need to escape and quickly.
In the latest episode of the Scriptnotes’ podcast, Craig Mazin makes this point about the importance of crafting characters who are liars. We as writers have a specific vision when we write, and it’s tempting to be too direct in dialogue in order to hammer home points we’re afraid might otherwise get lost. However, this often strains the credibility of the world in which our scripts take place. In reality, people are rarely (vocally) honest about their intentions, feelings, desires, fears, etc. In general, we’re socialized to avoid over-sharing and internalize our issues. Because of this, I would take Craig’s point a step further and argue that characters who lie should be the default. It’s possible to write interesting, well-crafted characters who are brutally honest, but that should be something we knowingly put into their character to set them apart from the others in our scripts.
The ways and reasons characters lie, either to themselves or to others, allow the audience to form a more personal connection, and show us what’s going on inside their heads instead of straight up telling us. For example, BOB asks EMMA “How are you?” after she has just been dumped and fired from her job in the same day. EMMA could say, “I’m feeling really depressed. I don’t think I’ll make rent this month and now I’m terrified I’ll never find love,” OR, she could say, “I’m fine,” before we see her get black-out drunk and married in Vegas, or rob a bank at gunpoint. The first option is straightforward, but the second tells us way more about Emma’s character and provides opportunities for more visual scenes. Like Craig says, lying is just more interesting.