Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Word Count Wednesday!

What am I working on? 

Still working on that screenplay. Who would've thought screenplays take time and effort?  

How do I feel about the process? 

I'm actually revising a decent chunk of it. It needs to reflect the struggle of the countries oppressed by western imperialism and terror while simultaneous touching on the plight of Americans who are subject to become sheep to whatever the mass media says.

That's a mouthful. 

What am I reading? 

A wiki-article titled, "What to do when you have writer's block". 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fears of Job Security and Other Fun Things

This is less of a post, more of a rant, I suppose. Actually, less of a rant, and more of a...concern? I think that maybe, this might be the best outlet to share these concerns because (unfortunately), we might all be in the same boat. I say this because the majority of us are likely seeking some sort of creative career involving writing. For some of us it's the goal of being a published author, for others, it's becoming an editor, and some, screenwriters.

I'm not sure if I'm just coming from a conventional, strict sort of family, but I do get a plethora of interesting responses when I inform someone of my intended career path.

I get a lot of, ", on the side of your actual job, right?"

Sometimes, it's just flat out, "Oh. Risky, huh?"

Other times, it's the sympathetic relative who wants to crush your dreams gently, without doing so directly. So they whip up some response, and it generally comes out like: "Well, as long as you know that it's not likely, and that you pursue something else, and do this on the side, why not?"

And while my initial reaction might be, "No Cheryl, I can't be a screenwriter and a neruosurgeon at the same time," I feel inclined to understand.

And I mean, to some degree, I understand. When the job market is already so competitive, why on Earth would we plunge ourselves into one of the least stable career groups? Why not become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer, (or all three, if my parents had their way)?

I often ponder if I'm on the right track. There's a lot of evidence that suggests I am, but I do feel insecurities creeping in sometimes. First and foremost, I love writing. And this is setting aside any concerns of whether I'm any good, or if I'll ever make it "big". I simply enjoy the processs. There's something cathartic and therapeutic of being able to string words together to perfectly encapsulate what I'm thinking or feeling at any given time.

It's all I've ever really been good at (arguably). Suffice it to say, I'm not the best math student, there's no career for me in history, and if all the people with my grasp of science wanted to go into the field, the world would be doomed. I thought I couldn't have a career in politics because of underqualifications, but this last presidential election sure proved me wrong. 

I know that this job, (screenwriting, in my case), is the only sort of career that will ever make me truly happy.

But I also know what it's like to have food on my plate every night, and I'm kind of attached to that stability, too.

Maybe this is just an exaggeration, but I feel as if this is how our society regards those who aspire to go into creative fields, whether it be an artist, a writer, a performer, etc.

I wish I could tie this to a solution, right about now. It certainly feels expected, what with the way I've formatted this post. But I don't have one. It seems, everywhere I look, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to ignore my fears in pursuit of my dreams. And while people often say, "Follow your dreams at any costs"- those people probably have stable jobs themselves, and don't fear paying off college debts and being jobless right out of university.

Just something to ponder, I suppose.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Fine Line Between Progression and Being Out of Character

Recently, I've run into a bit of a paradoxical situation when I've been writing characters that I've established for quite some time now.

I can best pose it in the question, "How far can character progression go before they simply become, 'out of character'?"

Let's say we have character A, who's known to be a hardass, a stickler for the rules, disciplined, etc.

Over the course of the novel, movie, story, whatever, character A softens up to the people around her. She cracks more jokes, she smiles more, she's even okay with playing hooky from work, all because of her exposure to this new friend group that she's made, or something to that effect.

Look at what you've started with, and what you've ended with. The dynamic is completely different. The way they'd respond to something in the beginning of the story should be a complete 180 from how they would react at the end.

This might be a good thing. It might be bad. But this begs the question, is that progression?

Readers tend to get attached to the way certain characters behave. If you're constantly shifting the morals and the attitudes of a character, it feels...messy. You're not really sure where they stand, or how they're going to respond to something, and it's this ambiguity that bothers certain readers. They expect a character to be a certain way.

Again, an example:

Let's say that character A is asked to skip work to embark on the roadtrip of a lifetime.

Your readers now have different ideas of what the response is. Reader 1 might argue, "Well, she's obviously going to say no, because work is everything to her, and I like that about her. She gets shit done."

Reader 2 might say, "Oh, she'll totally say yes, because she's changed, now. She's happier."

So who's correct? How can both versions of the same characters exist at once?

This sort of idea of progression frightens me a little, because it takes an established character, and does away with the characteristics that make them who they are, in a sense. And if people don't agree with this new version of your character, are you shit out of luck?