Monday, March 24, 2008

Developing the Story

Developing the story that my screenplay has become hasn't nessesarly been easy. I started writing the actual screenplay in May of 2007. Almost a year later, and the story isn't finished yet. I know, your going to tell me that I should have finished the story line by now. In reality, it's no where near as easy to writ a good solid story in screenplay form.

I think I better start from the beggining for the part I really wanted to write about tonight to make sense. But in order to do that, I have start almost exactly a year ago.

In late March 2007 (March 28 to be exact), I interviewed for a job at the Saginaw Zoo. I knew that I had to leave from the interview to go to class. On my way home I was involved in a very minor (no injuries or deaths!) car accident. During the first couple weeks afterwards, I really couldn't talk about what had happend because it hurt a little to remember what had happened. About a week later, I began writing a little about it. I couldnt write much, but it was a start for me. Just writing about the car accident helped me to get past it.

As I wrote about my car accident one day, I began to realize that I have so many stories to tell. Some of them come from my life, some of them come from my very vivid imagination. So, I began writing the story of Jennifer (who I introduced to you in my last blog). I wrote quite a few series of diary entries from Jennifer's perspective and from her adoptive families perspective. My mid to late April I had a foundation for what was to become my screenplay. During the last week or two of April I quit writing. I needed a break from the story of how Jennifer came to know her biological mother. Naturally I turned my attention to exams which were coming up. I also turned my attention to something I needed to adress in my own life.

During those couple of weeks off from writing, I spent my time working, studying, or sleeping. One day while I was at work on a Friday morning, I realized I wasn't who I thought I was. For the longest time, I thought I was a young women who's sexual prefrence was straight. All of the sudden I realized that I wasn't straight, but bi-sexual. This realization would later play into part of my screenplay.

During early May, I began my first full time summer job. I went through two days of training (a Tuesday and Wensday), had Thursday and Friday off before I worked my first weekend of the summer. The next week, I filled in in the Information Center for someone's lunch one day, and on anouther full day for someone who had taken a day off. During my full day out in the Information Center, I had some quiet time when there were no visitors around. During those quiet times I wrote a series of several scenes. Two of them became the first and last scenes in one of my earliest drafts.

As the characters have evolved from draft to draft, so has my understanding of their relationships. This has brough about a slew of new scenes (about 20-30 new pages!) that I still have to sift through. Over my Christmas 2007 break, I wrote so much that there were characters I never knew about even in October or November that began to appear. This has meant more work for me, but it also has allowed me to see the characters that I have known from the beggining from a new perspective.

I have about a month left of school in the current semester. This summer I will be marking the one year anniversary of the beggining of my writing this screenplay. But I wont be marking it by having it published. Instead I aim to mark it by finishing it, and passing it on to a few people to read and give me feedback on. Best of all, I have recently decided that once this first screenplay is done, I will begin writing a second one giving the story of one of my minor characters in this first story.

As time passed over the summer of 2007, I slowley plucked away at the screenplay. I was contiuously learning things about my characters. By the end of October I had a full 89 pages written, and still wasnt done. I still had unfinished scenes to write, scenes to re-write, and even more scenes I wasnt sure I wanted. My most recent copy is a total of 95 pages long.

I know this has been a long post, but thats fine. I could have gone into even more depth on some of the things that happened to me and some of the imaginary stories that play a roll in my screenplay.

No comments: