Over the weekend, a producer requested one of my scripts. I had a lot of choices on how to respond: panic, fear, even frustration because it’s the script that I’ve named my nemesis. I’m proud because I’m excited. I’m celebrating because joy begets more joy and all that jazz.
I haven’t looked at that script in over a year. It was the second script I ever wrote and I have rewritten it six ways to Christmas. I no longer enjoy it, find it funny, or want to see it ever again. These emotions have led me to an insight: I didn’t write it right.
It’s a good idea which is what has been killing me. I like the idea and know it can be good. I have been missing the point. I lost track of why I wrote it in the first place. As I was brainstorming how to wrangle this mess of 110 pages I kept getting these internal stop signs. I was wondering if these were true stops, alarms that I was going down the wrong road, or just my inner critic being my inner critic. If I don’t even like it, it’s a wrong road.
I’m also proud I’m not rushing to send it out. I told him I need to polish it and will have it done soon, like within the century. He appreciated that and told me when it’s ready, send it. I’ve learned to send finished polished work instead of what I have and waste people’s time. I want to do a good job on it.
We’ll see how it goes. The producer was a hockey player and the script is about hockey. That’s one “in” and a plus. My big goal is rewriting it so it’s a good story instead of feeling awkward and forced. It just hasn’t felt right. It felt contrived and I’m a better writer than that. You can’t force funny. So, we’ll see how it goes.