Monday, June 9, 2008

Why I Write: To find out why I'm driven to write this script

I'm currently working on two scripts - The Gap and Utopia, while I let a third script, Run, settle for a while after having written a very rough draft.

All three scripts are in approximately the same place - the process of finding out why I feel driven to write them.

There is something in all three of them that I cannot let go of. I'm going to call this something the nugget.

In the process of finding out what the nugget is, I will let go of vast amounts of extraneous ideas which surround the nugget. And I don't know what this extraneous dirt is and what the nugget is until I go through this process.

Should the protagonist in Run be a man? Turns out she's definitely a woman. Old or young? Young, but not too young. Is her love interest a man then? No, turns out she's gay.

Through feeling my way through all these choices, I somehow get closer and closer to the nugget that is driving me to write the script. Maybe the nugget is a question. Maybe it's an emotion. Maybe the nugget doesn't sit still. Can I trust it's worthwhile? I don't know, but it keeps on gleaming. And it promises answers.

On reflection that doesn't sound very trustworthy.


hix said...

Great stuff! Looking forward to reading more. And I have questions.

What happens once you find out what the nugget is?

... and any chance you could unpack what you mean by this: "Maybe the nugget doesn't sit still. Can I trust it's worthwhile? I don't know, but it keeps on gleaming. And it promises answers."

Sean said...

Hi Hix. Thanks for commenting.

Once I find out what the nugget is, my hope is that I'll be able to come up with the right ideas for the script with a lot more frequency and clarity. So instead of sifting through the dirt to clear out the nugget, I'll be able to throw the right kind of dirt and watch it stick. Hmmm, don't know if that metaphor worked in the slightest.

My fear is that once the nugget is clean of dirt, it won't be shining and in fact may be quite dull. So that fear somewhat goes to your second question/request to unpack that paragraph.

Another fear from that paragraph is whether the nugget actually stays put in the same place. Given the amount of time I work on an idea, and the human tendency to rewrite the past, it's entirely possible that the initial nugget that attracted me to the idea is not what's attracting me now. And that unreliability scares me.

dreadbeard said...

There is nowhere to hide on the interwebs!

I always find it interesting to hear about other people's creative processes.

Sean said...

Thanks Dreadbeard. The focus is more on motivations, but I'll definitely be dealing with my creative processes on the way through.

Benedict Reid said...

I just tried to leave comments on two of your later posts.
But I didn't end up doing it. Mainly because this blog goes to some pretty deep places. And it's all about philosophical view points. When ever I write a comment, it feels to me like I'm attacking you (which I really don't want to). I think it's because I find myself disagreeing with some of your underlying principles.
These are all conversations that I'm more than happy to have with you in person, but when it's writen down I'm a little less comfortable with it.
Maybe it's because I need to draw on some personal experiences which I really don't want to share with the whole world.
But I thought I should at least make one comment. I am reading your blog. And it is making me think. One of your posts actually blocked me from writing for a day. Another may have helped. We writers are such fragile things.

Sean said...

Thanks Ben.

And you can disagree without me feeling that you're attacking me. This stuff is my personal experience and beliefs - I actually don't know if there's a 'right way' in all of this, and I don't intend for my reasons to be the same for everyone. Quite the opposite - I expect we all have different reasons for writing, and different expectations. I'd be excited if people post their experiences in the comments. I kind of feel like Tim Jones has started this in his comment on a later post.