Oh, sure. It’s all well and good when you first get the go-ahead, and even better when you type FADE OUT, but everything in between can be a solitary, interminably frustrating, dispiriting stretch – especially when the you hit THE WALL. I’m not so much talking about writers’ block, that narrative impasse that is ultimately more psychological than creative, but more a point in the process when you write yourself into a corner. You’ve been motoring along, everything has been falling into place, and then suddenly you realize…you are screwed. Your antagonist’s motivations are murky, your protagonist isn’t proactive enough, the pieces you assumed would fall into place haven’t, and that manic climax you envisioned unfurling to I’m Blue (da ba dee) remains confoundingly elusive.
There’s no figuring it out. Sometimes, it all comes together in mysterious fashion, like Stargate‘s Ripple Effect or Dark Matter‘s All The Time In the World, challenging scripts with complicated set-ups and pay-offs that magically came together when I sat down to write them – don’t ask me how. Other times, like on this latest script, I’m ready to throw in the towel. I love the characters and the scenes and the dialogue but they’re like disparate pieces of an unfathomable puzzle. And unlike the aforementioned other scripts that, while important, were not going to make or break things for me, THIS script could be the difference between a series green light and a giant missed opportunity.
And I have a little over a week to figure it out.
I remember someone once likening art to sculpting and the fact that one isn’t creating but actually freeing what’s inside. Somewhere in that block of granite is the perfect statue and it’s the sculptor’s job to chip away at it until they get as close as possible to perfection. So it is, I believe, with writing. There is an astoundingly fantastic version of this script. I just need to find it.
And time is running out.