The Crunch

So, my sister and I have an agent.

We’ve been repped for about a month, but I’m only now getting around to saying something, because it seemed strange to just blurt out “Hey, there’s a guy who talks about us in meetings hoping to find us employment.” Actually, that’s still weird — but, the ‘agent thing’ is such a milestone to most people, it actually felt weirder not to acknowledge it. So, it’s weird either way, and that about sums up my life right there.

I know the first question you’re going to ask. Well, maybe not the first, but some of you will ask it at some point — “How did you get your agent?”

Here are the things I did not do:

I did not cold call anyone.
I did not query anyone.
I did not sleep with anyone (I feel like that’s worth mentioning).

My mantra for the many years I’ve been running this blog is that Relationships are Everything. Julie (my sister) and I got our agent because of who we knew, and who they knew who might be looking to rep someone like us. That person then reached out to us to submit material, which we did. He liked it, liked us and asked to represent us.

That sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it took a hell of a lot of time and relationships to pull that off.

So, what does this mean for us? Primarily it means that the Benson Sisters are an official writing entity — we have been for awhile, but we are really marketing and branding ourselves (I shudder to say that) as sisters who write genre together. There are a couple of other sister teams out there, one of which I can think of that also does genre, so it’s a narrow field, but makes us appealing as a unit.

So, that’s it — piece of cake, right? Well, not really. The work is far from over and is, in fact, just beginning. We need to rewrite one of our pilot specs and write a new one entirely — it turns out we don’t quite have the material we need for staffing season, so right now we are focused on quickly getting stuff together. And when I say quickly, I mean by the first of the year.

Yeah.

Meanwhile, that webseries project I sold with Bernie Su earlier this year is still moving along. We’re about to do the second rewrite on the script. After that — hopefully they get a director and talent attached and start finding sponsors. A long way toward production yet.

But Julie and I are about to enter our first real staffing season. Pray for us.

Posted under Uncategorized, writing

This post was written by Shawna on December 1, 2012

Tags: , , ,

Hiatus Interuptus

Four months with no new posts. I’m a bad blogger.

Things for which I need to post updates: My triumphant return to Austin Film Festival last month. My continuing career progression. Geekerati Radio’s return from the near dead and our growing audience.

Lots of exciting happenings for Team Benson (not just for me, but my sis too!)

Have I intrigued you? Do I leave you wanting more? My work here is done…for now. Back soon.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Shawna on November 9, 2012

Tags: ,

2011 – New Year, Same Blog.

So this is the new year.  I don’t feel any different. — “The New Year,” Death Cab for Cutie

The beginning of  a new year means time to reintroduce myself to the masses…which hopefully will lead to more life on this blog (it was really depressing how little traffic I saw here last year — I’ll do my part (i.e. actually blog), if you do yours (i.e. read and COMMENT)).  So let’s get the introductions out of the way first, then move on to other business.

Hi.

My name is Shawna Benson.  You probably don’t know me.  If you do know me, save your pithy or sarcastic remarks for my Facebook page.  I’m trying to run a professional looking blog here, guys.

I have had an online/web presence since 1992.  I realize that may be before some of you were born.

I have been tilting at the Hollywood windmills for 8 years now (officially — unofficially, as in, before I moved to Los Angeles, add 2 years…I don’t because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing then).  2010 was the year I finally saw some progress.  I sold a webseries, which I am writing with my friend Bernie Su (more on this stuff over time, when I can reveal more information publicly).  Meanwhile, I’m writing my own webseries to produce this year, and I also write TV reviews and commentary for Seat42F.

I also write with my sister, Julie.  She and I have had a sci-fi drama pilot optioned in the past, and we continue to develop scripts under our “Irregardless Productions” banner.  While I’m busy trying to get a webseries launched, she’s busy being Josh Friedman’s assistant on the “Locke & Key” tv pilot he’s writing/producing for Fox.  She’s also one of the funniest writers I know.

Specs — I have a lot of them.  If you are wondering why anyone has ever bothered to come to this blog, it’s because I used to do a lot of analysis of which shows were “good to spec” — I still do this from time to time, but less as an entire post, and more as shows come up that deserve attention.  Also, at this point, you’d better be writing a spec pilot besides a show spec anyway, as it is more likely to get you read and staffed.

No, I have not been staffed on a TV show.  Yet.

I also get a lot of traffic for my Newbie’s Guide to San Diego Comic Con.

As you can probably tell, I’m on all the social networks, practically.  My moniker on Twitter is @TeelaJBrown.  There’s a story to the nickname that goes back 15 years there.  If you google “TeelaJBrown” most of the sites which appear point to me (Livejournal, Amazon Wish List, etc, etc).

I also have a secondary twitter account which will probably see more use this year — @shawnabenson.

Okay I think that’s the introductions out of the way…

Why should you visit this blog…more than once?

I don’t know that I have a good answer for that, but I’ll tell you what I use it for, and you can decide if it’s something you’d like to read from time to time.  I blog TV, what I like, what’s good, what works (or doesn’t).  I recently blogged about AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD.  I’ll link to my Seat42F articles and reviews.  I blog about writing in general, and about tv writing in specific when the mood strikes and I feel I have something to say that hasn’t already been beat to death on other screenwriting blogs (see the blogroll on the left).  I’m going to try to revive the “Movie of the Day” posts, but rather than commit to one every single day, I’ll commit to one every time I see a (new to me) film.  I wish that were every day, but I have a DVR backlogged with TV episodes of about 20 series that I currently watch and stay current on.

Sometimes I blog about events in my life, particularly if they are related to writing or my career.  I’ve also been known to relate a story or two from my past.  Your mileage for those types of posts may vary.

So that’s me.  That’s my world.  I’m a 36 year old chick living in Hollywood working to break into this messy business of show.

And now that I’ve updated the blog for 2011, I have 3 scripts to write and 3 articles to finish… see you around Solar de Cahuenga.

Posted under randomness, writing

This post was written by Shawna on January 2, 2011

Tags: , , , ,

The Walking Dead, interlude

We interrupt my continuing rant about “The Walking Dead” to direct you over to Kay’s blog Seriocity – because, seriously, she nailed about 2/3 of what I was going to cover in part two, and there’s no way I can top it. Here’s a sample:

Darabont, ultimate television historian that he is not, wants to model The Walking Dead on how the BBC makes TeeVee — with a showrunner, no staff, and freelancers coming in to write episodes. First of all, I think the BBC model works because production over there is an entirely different animal than it is here. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there story editors on BBC shows?  Isn’t there some experienced framework in place to make the shows run smoothly? And haven’t the majority of the showrunners come up through the very stringent system so that they know how it all works? Don’t they have — dare I say it — experience? And don’t the freelance writers also know precisely how the system works, and how to pitch and write scripts for these shows?

Since that’s not how we do it here, I can’t imagine that this sort of thing would run smoothly. Actually, hang on a minute… I actually have experience with this sort of thing! I was on a show where it was decided that the majority of the episodes would be freelanced. This led to hearing A LOT of pitches and not surprisingly, an enormous number of those pitches missed the mark. Because see, that’s how our system is designed. It’s almost impossible for freelancers to pitch an acceptable story to a US TeeVee show, which is why the WGA required freelance episodes are usually given to friends or assistants.

Seriously. You need to read the whole thing.  Plus, I need more time to finish part 2.  Hey, I have a pilot to re-write, a webseries to work on…Shawna’s gotta eat.

UPDATE: Lee Goldberg has weighed in.

UPDATE #2: Michael Patrick Sullivan has blogged this as well – and yes, the alluded to tweets will be revealed in part 2, I swear!



Posted under analysis, blogs

This post was written by Shawna on December 1, 2010

Tags: , , , ,

Wild World of Webseries

I can’t say I was really surprised by the results of my informal survey early this week.

I asked the question ‘Do you watch webseries?’

I figured that based on the percentage of views to actual comments that 90% of the people who read the question and didn’t answer WOULD answer in the negative.  The remaining 10% who did comment split about 7%/3% yes/no.

So 93% of my readers (or so) do not generally watch any webseries.  That’s what I gather.

As I said this was informal, and just because someone didn’t comment doesn’t mean they don’t watch, but I’m gonna assume that, because…well, just because.

That means I have 7% who might care about this post.

The reasons stated for why you don’t watch or what is frustrating are all valid.

The quality isn’t there.

I can’t dispute this.  The internet is a firehose.  Finding the good among all the bad…the signal to the noise — it’s not easy.

Still let’s face it, the web is democratic.  You create a vision, you distribute it, and the people decide to watch or not watch.  There are however ways to get improve your chances that someone will watch it.

I don’t know where to find webseries to watch them.

Also valid.  Much like the cable TV landscape, there are dozens and dozens of websites that act as distributors for web content, and that doesn’t count those who just put up a website to host their series without any distribution platform (although, to not use Youtube at a bare minimum seems a bit short sighted)  There are sites you’ve heard of, and a whole lot you haven’t heard of.  There are original web series – documentary, mockumentary, reality, drama, comedy, horror, animation, news…it’s just like any other “older” medium – a wide variety of series for people to enjoy.  A few are studio produced and distributed, many webseries are independent productions.  There are webseries which are directly tied to other content, whether it is a film or tv series – “The Office” and “Battlestar Galactica” are known for having webseries that run alongside or tie into their main shows.  Some have spin-off type content for web.  Some web shows have even made the jump from the web to television — “Sanctuary” started out as an episodic series on the web before Sci-Fi (pre-name change) picked it up and made it a television series.  “Children’s Hospital” on Adult Swim was a webseries on WB.com first.

Probably the best known independent productions don’t have huge stars, but have quality and devoted fans.  “The Guild” has managed to attract a large audience, which got attention from Microsoft.  Now that series is exclusively released on Microsoft XBox and MSN platforms before it hits Youtube.

Of course, most writers know about Whedon’s foray into the web during the Writer’s Strike a couple of years ago, and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog” was born.

A series can be three episodes, or eighty.  It can have seasons or cycles, or it can stand alone, as a one shot.

The variety and flavors of webseries are vast, but the issues remain: How do I find the good ones?

Well, how do you find anything “good”?  You rely on word of mouth.  A video goes “viral” when it is shared and distributed by a swarm of people.  You post it or link to it and then some else sees it, does the same and so on… There are a few aggregators out there now, and sites like tubefilter.com try to cover the landscape of web entertainment.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start highlighting blogs, twitter accounts, facebook pages, and websites which try to highlight the good, find the signals among the noise.  They don’t always succeed, but you stand a better chance of finding something you like after you investigate them.

Why do I care?  No matter what, I am a storyteller first – if I can tell a story on the web and make it as good and as interesting as any independent film or tv series, I have a better shot at getting it seen eventually by a larger audience.  The power is no longer in the hands of gatekeepers – it’s in your hands, you as a creator and you, as an audience.

It’s a wild, uncharted landscape out there.  You can stake a claim.  What are you waiting for?

Me, I’m not waiting.  I’m writing a webseries.  So yeah, some of this is self-interest; I want an audience for what I make.  I want YOU to see it.  I figure I start with talking about webseries and finding some other good ones to share with you.  Then maybe together we can start making some magic happen…

Stay tuned.

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on October 9, 2010

Tags: , , , , , ,

In Preparation

First off, huge gratitude for those of you who were good enough to respond to my survey request – obviously this is the least scientific survey in the history of surveys, but I was happy to get any responses at all, so thank you.

Here’s the thing: I figured most of the responses I’d get would be people who do actually watch or have watched webseries.  Only a couple of people admitted to not watching them, either because of lack of interest or inability to find them.  I can only assume that the reason more people didn’t comment on the survey is that they don’t watch webseries either.  Based on the non-responses, and the actual number of page views I received since I posted the survey, it’s fair to say 90% of my visitors DO NOT WATCH WEBSERIES.

And this leaves me with a dilemma.  I have a lot I want to say about webseries, but is there an audience interested in hearing about what I have to say?  The stats say ‘no.’

I’m genuinely concerned about how to overcome the “enthusiasm gap” for scripted series which premiere online rather than on tv, in theaters, you know, “old media.”

Still, I’m gonna talk about it.  Because that’s what I do – talk about stuff.  I can’t control whether you read obviously, but I actually hope you do.

Yes, this is also my way of telling you I need one more day to begin this new series of posts.  Consider it time you can use to remind people this long dormant blog still exists.  I mean, we’ve been in the trenches a long time.

I’d do it for you…if you asked.

Posted under analysis, writing

This post was written by Shawna on October 4, 2010

Tags: ,

The Storm before the Calm

It’s that time of year again – contest/fellowship/program application time.  If you are planning to enter any of the studio-run programs you are very likely trying to polish up a script or two to submit.

Of course, we all know there’s that infernal “personal statement” to be written, and your resume to be updated too.

So, guess what — a couple of changes are coming to the Disney-ABC Fellowship.  I happened to attend an information session about the annual program this weekend, and learned the following:

1. It’s no longer a fellowship.  At least, in name.  The official name is now Disney-ABC Writers Program.  This only applies to the writing, not the directing or production, which I believe are still called fellowships.

2. Yes, it’s $50k for one year working in the program.  Because there’s a salary involved here a very strong word of warning: Writing partnerships stand a very slim chance of being accepted.  The reason for this is primarily that due to the fact that they pay you in this program, they can’t split that pay between 2 people, so you are treated for the sake of the program, as 2 individuals, even if you submit together (which they still encourage you to do).  Trouble is, that means 2 writing partners, if they got accepted, take 2 slots in the program.  The word of caution delivered at the info session was that the writing sample has to be AMAZING for a writing team to be considered.  So, keep that in mind, because clearly WB and NBC do not have this restriction and seem to actually like getting 2-for-1 in a writing partnership.

3. NO MORE NOTARY!! This was greated with loud applause.  If you’ve ever applied to the program before, you know what a pain it can be trying to get your application notarized in time for the deadline.  So, this year they are moving to submissions on CD.  You’ll be asked to send your script, resume, statement and other materials on a CD-ROM (saving trees!)  You will need to print out the application so it can be signed, and they ask that you scan it back in as a .PDF with your signature and put that with the other materials to submit on CD.  Still, small price to pay (meaning, none) to now submit in a much more logical manner.

4. They still don’t accept pilots.  Do not even put them as a supplemental work (if requested).  You must submit either a half-hour or hourlong spec of an existing show (does NOT have to be an ABC show).

The application and instructions will go live on June 1st, which is the first day submissions will be accepted.  The deadline is July 1st.  You can go to their website here.

Finally, thanks to Screenplaylab.com for holding the information session!

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on May 26, 2010

Tags: , , ,

“Glee”ful no more.

I’m done with GLEE.  This may be the most controversial thing I’ve written in awhile.

Yes, I started out on the train, right from last fall.  I was inspired by their rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin'” but since the break, I feel the show has gone 0 for 3 in making me feel as charmed as I did a few months ago.

Problem #1 TOO MANY SONGS

I know.  It seems blasphemous on the surface to even say that, but the last three episodes have been nonsensically stuffed to the gills with songs.  The Madonna themed episode can be somewhat excused, but really – what the hell did the “Vogue” video have to do with telling that story?  NOTHING.  It was there because the writers wanted it to be.

As we (should) all know, you don’t put things in a story just because you as the writer want them to be there.  It has to make sense for the story and for the characters.  The Sue Sylvester video, while cool and interesting, didn’t serve any real purpose for the show. 

I wouldn’t mind the number of songs per episode if they didn’t feel so obviously jammed in there now.  For some reason they’ve felt the need to really try to tie the songs together thematically much closer to the story, so now you get “here are some songs about saying ‘Hello’ while we are meeting new characters” or “here are some songs about ‘Home’ while our characters try to figure out where their homes are’ (metaphorically, of course.  Rachel didn’t suddenly get lost in town and couldn’t find her house).  The Madonna theme was even a stretch, though I understood why they did it.

Let’s break out the songs from one of the first episodes and compare with the songs in the most recent episode: 

Episode 2 (we’ll start with it, since it’s more indicative of the show I came to enjoy than the pilot):

“Say a Little Prayer”
“Take a Bow”
“Gold Digger”
“Push It”

That’s, on average, one song per act.  Yes, there are one or two other songs used in the episode, but not as full songs or only in the background.  Now, here’s what we got this week with Episode 16:

“A House is Not a Home”
“One Less Bell to Answer”
“Fire”
“Beautiful”
“Home”

On the surface this doesn’t seem like a big difference (only one additional song, right?) except that “A House is Not a Home” also got a HUGE reprise in “One Less Bell to Answer.”  Also, think about it from a number of minutes standpoint.  In episode 2, they spent, approximately, 12 minutes in songs.  Of course there’s some story stuff going on while they are singing, but at least two of the songs are just sung in the classroom or on the stage as show numbers, not as part of the narrative.  In episode 16, there was singing for nearly 18 minutes!  Out of 42 minutes, that is a HUGE chunk of time your characters are not talking or furthering the story.  There is so little dialog in fact, that the episode feels loosely strung together as opposed to intricately weaved.  Storylines which should all come together seem to wander off.  The strongest story for Episode 16 was regarding Kurt and Finn’s single parents dating each other (which, I like the idea of, in theory, but there being absolutely NO setup for this narrative thread was annoying and distressing).  That story kept getting bogged down with songs that really seemed to not deal with the issues of that story – that is, Finn moving on from mourning his dead father and Kurt feeling left out of the male bonding Finn has with Kurt’s dad.  Those are powerful, interesting character reactions, and yet they are given short shrift because, at least by the show’s logic, it’s more important that we find a way to work Kristen Chenowith back into the story (after her one and done episode felt pretty played out already), and allow her to sing 2 duets with Matthew Morrison.  Really?  I like the adults, but I thought this show was about the kids??

Problem #2 THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO THEIR CHARACTERS ARE AND HOW THEY SHOULD BEHAVE

The bigger sin than there being too much singing, is that the characters aren’t acting like their established selves, and they haven’t actually been given good justification or reason to suddenly act differently.  Detailing all of the ways the characters have shifted in just 3 episodes could take all day, but I’ll just point out one: There is no way on God’s green Earth that Diana Agron’s Quinn would reach out to Mercedes.  Suddenly the evil cheerleader is nice to her?  NO. WAY.  They’ve established that Quinn’s a conniving itch with a B, and yet now she’s all sunshine and light because she’s pregnant?  What the hell planet are the (male) writers living on?  She may have some sympathy, but it’s almost character whiplash to change her so significantly so quickly.  If there hadn’t been a 3 month long break halfway into the season, I think the character differences would be even MORE noticeable.  Not to mention, there’s always been a certain level of silliness to the show (which I happily accepted) – like somehow Mr. Shue not uncovering Teri’s fake pregnancy for as long as that went on (I mean, come ON), but I gave the show a pass because it had been pretty entertaining anyway.

I guess I’m all out of passes now.

I like Sue Sylvester – she’s my favorite character of the show – the writers obviously love writing her lines, and she always has the best ones.  In fact, when they gave Shuster a “good” comeback for Sue, it actually felt out of character for him (worse they couldn’t settle for one comeback, they gave him two about her hair).  Worse, it didn’t work for HER character — she’s hurt that he made fun of her hair?? Seriously?  That is NOT how the character has been established.  I love the depth they’ve given Jane Lynch to work with, but the blackmailing story is so silly it isn’t even dignified for her to play it for more than one episode.

Problem #3 SOME CHARACTERS HAVE COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED (SO FAR)

Ken Tanaka?  MIA except for a brief mention in Episode 14, the first one back from the break.  The man was LEFT AT THE ALTAR!!  And they haven’t dealt with that?  This is the problem of not keeping track of all of your characters in an ensemble and giving them fair treatment.  What about Teri?  She was also in Episode 14, but nowhere to be found in 15 or 16.  That’s a long time to not have any contact with a character who played a pretty vital role in the first half of the season.  Even Emma (Jayma Mays) had no lines in Episode 16, and she has a pretty big story going on herself – she left Tanaka at the aisle and started (almost) dating Shuster.

On the flipside…

Problem #4 THERE ARE TOO MANY CHARACTERS

The mix they had going into the break was good.  The snarky cheerleader spies Santana and Brittany were great for small bits, but now they are getting expanded roles.  Why?  In part, because they were so great in the small bits, the writers want to use them more.  The downside is the more ‘gay shark’ lines you let Brittany say and the more you let Santana take over the Quinn bitchiness, the less time you have for all those other characters.  It’s no wonder they are starting to get lost in the shuffle.  Like the poor Asian girl (who, I actually couldn’t remember her name as I was typing this) – Tina!  She already has a tough time establishing herself as one of the ‘minor’ characters.  She certainly doesn’t need anyone else eating into her screentime.  The actress, Jenna Ushkowitz, was the one person on the Paley Festival panel WHO DIDN’T GET ASKED A QUESTION. AT ALL.  That’s just wrong.  You don’t make the person sit on the stage with 10 of your coworkers (or however many were there) and then not ask her at least one question.  I felt so bad for her.

Problem #5 STOP WITH THE TOKENISM

It’s one thing to have diversity.  It’s another to consciously choose that diversity so that those characters become emblems or symbols…poor Tina is ‘token Asian girl’ and as much as the show would like to say, ‘hey, she’s not REALLY the token Asian girl – look! We didn’t give her good grades or some other horrible stereotype!’ She’s still there to make use of the fact that she’s ‘the token Asian girl’ in stories.  It’s ridiculous.  It all needs to stop.  Focusing an episode on each person’s issues/problems/whatever is fine, but when it gets to the point that we don’t really know who they are and what they’re doing there, it just gets stupid.  Finn is a great character.  Did he have to be white to be that character?  Nope.  But that’s who he is.  But Artie? — so far, Artie is defined by his wheelchair.  What’s weird is that the characters sometimes know this about themselves (as do the writers – they put it into their dialog all the time).  In the Madonna episode, Mercedes felt she was only being given small solos in songs so she could sing the power notes at the end… AND SHE’S RIGHT!  She’s had one or two solos on the show now, but usually her singing is to hit a particularly bluesy/soul/ power phrase in a song.  So, if the writers know this is how they are using their characters, why do they keep doing it?

I think they want to stop.  I think that’s why they’ve started changing up the character reactions to things…but unfortunately, those reactions aren’t organic to the characters as they have been established (see Problem #2).  It’s just a mess.

Problem #6 SUBTLETY IS NOT AN OPTION

This show doesn’t know nuance.  It doesn’t know how to make a theme interesting and tie together multiple storylines without hammering you on the head.  As I mentioned earlier, the theme of ‘Home’, that is, finding your own sense of home was so muddled and weird and made no sense, the characters had to keep saying ‘Home’ in lines of dialog just so it would make sense.  The effect: Like someone striking me repeatedly with a SLEDGEHAMMER.  When your characters keep stating your theme, it is no longer interesting, clever storytelling.  It is insulting your audience.  I don’t care if the themes are good or powerful – I know the show wants to be a positive force for kids – but kids are smarter than this show gives them credit for.  Hell, Disney Channel shows do theme better than this!  Kids do not need to be texted (modern telegraphing) WHAT THE EPISODE IS ABOUT.  They’ll figure it out without the characters telling them.

I thought my annoyance at the first two episodes back was an anomaly, but when this week’s episode was EVEN WORSE than the two before it, I knew I was ready to jump off the GLEE train.  Which is sad, because I really enjoyed it, but I think they learned the wrong lessons as to what was making the show work and what wasn’t.  Maybe this will change in future episodes and they’ll find their rhythm again.  All I know is I’m not going to jump to watch GLEE on my DVR as I did before — it has moved down the priority list pretty far.

So, what say you?  Do you still love it?  Did you EVER love it?  Am I out of my skull?  Inquiring minds and all that.

Posted under analysis, writing

This post was written by Shawna on April 29, 2010

Tags: , , , , , ,

Self-imposed exile

Twitter – turning it off.

Blog – no posts.

News reader – ignored, only used for finding articles i’ve flagged for research purposes.

Facebook and all other social media – nobody home.

I’m taking a self-imposed break from the internet.  I’ve never tried to shut myself off completely, so we’ll see how long it lasts.

It starts tonight at midnight and goes until I finish this pilot script.  So, it could be awhile.

If you need to send me a message, I’ll be checking my email (and replying) twice a day at 10 AM and 10 PM.  If you have my phone number you can call me.  And there’s always the carrier pigeon option.

Sorry to shut you all off, but I haven’t been able to get anything done since about 1996.  Time to change that a little.

Goodbye, wonderful internet.  Here’s hoping I can quit you…for awhile.

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on February 9, 2010

Tags:

Struggling to find the wrong words.

For me, the worst part of writing is the moment when I am typing words onto the page.

I’ve heard that’s pretty common with writers…hating the writing part.

As we all know though, writing is more than the act of typing or physically writing words on a page – it involves the thinking, the constructing, the questioning, the tearing down to build up, and the constant stream of decision making.  I recently discovered I lost a screenplay I started writing about eight or nine years ago.  It was one of my first attempts, and it was horrible, but I had a thought the other day that it would be better to work with some words on the page, even if they are ill-suited or horrendous, than start with that damn blank page again.

But whatever I had, horrible as it was, is no longer there.  Whatever is left, exists only in my memory.

So here I am, facing the blank page, trying to find some words to put on it.  I’m not looking for the right words yet.  Right now, I’m looking for the ones that help me get to a point where I can start looking for the right ones. 

I guess that means I’m looking for the wrong ones.

As I said, the wrong ones are better than none at all, it seems sometimes… 

I care about what I say and how I say it, and I hate getting it wrong.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much, because then I’d just pour out words and not care whether I was communicating anything worth saying.  At least there’d be words.

And having said all this, maybe I can start looking for something right to say…

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on January 19, 2010

Tags: