So, I am working on a new screenplay, I just haven’t written anything yet. I mean, I jot down notes just about every day in a Word document, sometimes in a journal, but I haven’t written a line of an actual story. I’m sort of afraid to start. My last screenplay, Rolidet, went nowhere. I got to about page fifty, couldn’t think of a satisfactory second act, and gave up. This was only after I had workshopped it with my writers group and they had read several drafts of the first ten pages. I am going back to my old habit of never talking about anything to do with the screenplay until I have a draft in hand. It’s a superstition, sure, but it works.
Rolidet was a fantasy screenplay, which meant pretty much anything goes in the story: griffins with wigs, talking chimps, magical fruit, but somehow, I couldn’t focus it down to something manageable. I was kind of overwhelmed by the plethora of options and gave up.
For this new screenplay, I have an ending and I even have a beginning. There’s a strong concept and even a protagonist. It’s the middle I’m afraid of—the actual plot that keeps me up at night wondering what to write. I wonder if my high concept is just too high concept. I worry that I’ll let it down somehow, that my story won’t live up to my expectations of the story. I worry that I don’t know what the story’s tone is. I worry that I won’t be able to complete it. I worry that people won’t like it. I worry that I’ll send it out to contests and no one will read it. And this worrying takes up too much of my writing time, which worries me in turn.
I guess I just need to find the motivation to write, to stretch my imagination and hope for the best. I tend to lose interest in stories after a couple of weeks anyway, so if I don’t start writing now, I probably won’t write anything.
So how do you get over the hump of not-writing and begin writing? I need help!