Writing A Lot Without Writing 1 Word

So everyday I fill up 2 bird feeders with Finch food. Now the tree outside looks like it grows them. If you look closely, you may notice they have become plus sized.

My return to writing so far has included circle walking, 30 minute jogs, and aimless movie watching. I have asked 2 actors to return to episode 5 and they have both agreed. I may contact others but it will depend on the script. Currently I plan on finding 3-4 new actors to play new characters. I would like to shoot in March.

Time and time again I have sat down with intention to write the script and wound up hurling vomit all over the page. Dialogue that is meaningless. Action that is purposeless. Tension that is weaker than a routine argument escalating by way of a rise in speaking volume. All the signs and symptoms of a shit story that nobody asked for.

So I opened some writing books today. Reread material that I’ve already digested. No matter what profession we find ourselves in there is always room to learn. As humans we fall prey to habits and oversimplification. We think we know everything when in reality we only apply the 10% of information we need to “get the job done.”

My problem: How do I tell 2 stories simultaneously in a setting where the characters sit around and talk about their feelings?

It sounds boring because it is. I knew I wanted my lead character to attend a group therapy session in a quest for information. I knew this group would block his path and interrogate him in 21st century fashion (like an internet opinion that is bombarded by the most hateful, blood-sucking internet personalities you’ve ever attempted to share a thought with). I had the feeling I wanted, and the general idea, but I didn’t have a plot, a purpose, or a story.

Today I set out to change that. I was determined to write the script from start to finish. I am willing to accept imperfection or even dog-shit-wrapped-in-plastic if it means production over stagnation. Well, I did not write the script. Not one word. I did something much better: I found the answer to my problem.

A riddle.

Ryan will find a note, a letter, or a business card that alludes to Melanie having had an affair with intention to go on a hike with some mysterious suitor. This gives Ryan the impetus to find out more information about who the culprit is and how involved they were with his missing wife. The clue will narrow down the results to only those present in the bi-weekly group therapy session.

In order to escalate the tension, the group must be equally determined to stop him. I can have Ryan’s initial attempts to interrogate group members explode in his face. Maybe the group is forced to relocate and bans the anonymous account he created when he started slandering the group online (or interrogating them).

It is only the beginning of the story, but I finally have my golden seed from which all the branches of my story shall sprout. I have accepted that a strong story must be built with a reliable foundation despite my eagerness to have a working draft. It’s one thing to put words on the page, it’s quite another to have those words accelerate emotional momentum towards an electric boom.

I will continue to try and post regularly but I must choose what I do with my free time wisely. I hope the day finds you well as we each attempt to solve the riddles in our own lives without getting banned for our anonymously pondered thoughts.

And yes, “A Lot” is two words, not one.

One thought on “Writing A Lot Without Writing 1 Word

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s