Thursday, April 14, 2016

Uncharted territory

Warning! Writing process discussion ahead. Beware. Don't operate heavy machinery while reading.

A while ago I blogged about my writing process, which you can read here. It's a method I've developed over time, that works best for me creatively, professionally. I tweak it or add to it now and again, but because it works for me, they're not huge changes.

But now, I've got a movie idea that I have no idea how to write.

My usual process doesn't work, because the very nature of the plot depends on the character interactions and how they react to various events - I can't brainstorm that, I can't outline it, because I don't know how they'll react until I'm actually writing the draft and hearing their voices.

I have some of the major plot milestones, but the order could move around depending on what the characters want to try and when they try it. And I don't know exactly who they are yet - the voices never become clear until you're actually in the draft, sometimes the second draft.

Oh, one more tiny problem: I don't know how it ends. Yeah.

I've come up with a mind-twisting science fiction plot, that gets the characters into a really, REALLY weird situation that's impossible to get out of. So I can't figure out how to get them out of it. They might figure it out for me when I'm writing it and they're all speaking. Or they might not. I might not be clever enough to write it. I might end up with most of a script, minus the final act. I don't know.

None of my usual techniques will work for this. I'll just have to wind up the characters, let them go, and see what happens. It's terrifying, and weird, and I don't know what I'm doing.

So obviously, I *have* to do it. Even if it fails utterly and I have to abandon it at the end. It's worth a try. And I'm curious to find out where it goes, if anywhere. You've got to do things that scare you, sometimes. So here goes.