Script writing strategies for 2014

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So how was my last writing year?

Less regular writing. But more output. Strange, isn’t it?

Less internet. Got a bit distant from my friends. I should blame it on my insistence to finish my writing first.

More outlining and brainstorming. Less writing screenplays. Good or bad? Not very sure.

Less co-writing projects. More solo adventures. Less speed. Less protection.

To be honest, it does surprise me that I am still here after 7 years. I am still doing this. I have a day job. I have a family. And still I am hanging in here with the skin of my teeth. I realise that I should be an obstinate bloke to be writing even now.

I would not have continued writing if not for the tidbits of validation I had from different quarters. Thank God for those.

So what changed this year?

The single most important change is that I focused more on outlining rather than on writing full scripts.

It has worked at least on an experiential level. I feel that I have got more work done last one year than most other years. By forcing myself to disengage from a project and focus on something else after a reasonable amount of time, I have improved my time efficiency. Most importantly, by postponing the ‘rush’ into the first draft, the ideas change and gets more mature.

Time will tell how much I am losing out by not writing full scripts. I don’t inherently like this method. But this came out of sheer compulsion from the ‘ticking clock.’

The setbacks?

Networking. What really suffered last one year is not writing. But time spent on finding like minded people and cultivating relationships.

The scarcity of actual meetings. But that was intentional. Because it occurred to me that I am not yet ready. Be that spider. Make sure your web is strong enough. And wide enough.

So what are the plans for 2014?

At least 15 hours of writing every week.

To keep time on writing targets and to monitor my own ability to set ‘reasonable’ targets.

To be ready for meetings by April.

To start meetings in May- at least one every month.

To spent at least 7 hours every week on networking.

At least a blog post per week. Even if it is two lines.

To plan reasonable incentives/punishments for meeting/failing my targets.

Photo by deiz92

An accidental reunion

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When I think about it, I would have been more happy if they didn’t see me while I was passing by. Then I could have wallowed in self pity after he had gone back to Japan that he didn’t meet me.

He had dyed his hair. I made fun of my own graying hair. ‘I have painted it white.’ Everyone laughed. It amused me that he didn’t say anything. I knew he had turned all gray. But he didn’t know I knew. Another friend in Japan had told me.

He tried to introduce his fiance. ‘Probably you two would have met each other.’ Yeah. We would have. If you didn’t fail to mention about her for 2 years while you and me were literally living in the same room.

We talked about work. I asked about his office like an interviewer asking about work experience. Staff? Problems? Work hours? Job satisfaction? Two other friends came. They wanted to buy some wine. We all got up.

There was a party at the place of a mutual friend. ‘Will you come?’ ‘Sure. Call me when you reach there.’ He wanted to say something more. May be shake my hands or something like that too. But I just nodded walking away. ‘Call me.’ I was thinking, ‘this accidental encounter ruined a chance for me to say that he didn’t even meet me.’

That call never came. I was a little happy. He forgot me. I can hate him. It was only a few days later it suddenly occurred to me the meaning of that searching look on his face when that accidental meeting ended. Probably we may never meet each other in our lives again. He was trying for a farewell.

And then there was a rush of grief. For a lost friend.

Photo by Monkey Traffic

Run…

Things have not gone according to plan last month. Needs more discipline with the writing. The reason is- the time is almost up to really go out into the world. Until now, even though I have been networking through social media, it was more about making myself familiar to others. Within a few months, tenure of my current job position will end. Then comes the opportunity that I have been waiting for all these years- to go and meet film makers.  When I do that, I want to be able to offer a variety of stuff if they want to see my work. So need to step up my act. And punch out some treatments and scripts.

Photo by ADIDA FALLEN ANGEL

The messenger

We shook hands. ‘It has been a long time,’ I said. It was a little weird. A decade ago, we had ate and drank together, cut classes together,  fought others together, proposed to the girls for each other… Now we were shaking hands. If we could forsee this scene 10 years back, we would have died of laughter.

In the restaurant, he breached on the subject. ‘She is in town,’ he said.

You fool. You thought he had come to see you for old times sake. You idiot.

‘She called me after so many years. She was crying,’ he continued. ‘It appears she has got into some problems with her husband.’

I stared through him. 

‘I need your help. I can’t involve directly. I need you to go and test the waters.’ 

Don’t you see? I don’t want any of this. 10 years back, your request would have made me happy like any other kid who has been asked to pass a love letter for his friend. Right now, I am only bothered about the mistake in tax return that my accountant made yesterday. Of course… I am also bothered about my potbelly. And also my receding hair line.

‘What do you exactly have in mind?,’ I asked. ‘Couples fight. They patch up. Don’t jump your guns here.’

Obviously he had already played out that one many times in his mind. He shook his head. ‘Don’t think so. And I thought it is a risk worth taking.’

For your information, I am the one taking the risk here you bastard.

‘You are going to get really embarrassed at the end of this.’ What I meant was, I am going to get really embarrassed at the end of this.

I will have to say yes I guess. Otherwise I am going to miss my ten o’clock tv show.

Photo by jurek d.

Why you should follow your dream…

That creepy common sense. You know, the odds and figures… The actual probability of making it after taking this lonely road that you so desperately want to follow… The fear of being embarrassed by your own stupidity when you look back after many years…

Here is why you should still follow that dream abandoning the shade of a boring but secure choice- even if the odds of making it is one in lakhs… Top five regrets of the dying-

A distress call

Works in Progress by koalazymonkey

Stuck in a seminar preparation. Jumbled graphs, data, slides. Screenplays all hanging in half life. Can’t type anything other than bullet points now. Power point has spoiled me. Need to get back in groove after 31st. Planning to buy a tablet. Hopes to utilise bits and pieces of time more effectively. I know, I know. A tablet can be a double edged sword. Yeah, some times you gamble and you lose. Or you may win too. Hopes that Eid is on 31st itself. Then it will be holiday. And I will be saved. Over. And out.

Photo by koalazymonkey

The man vs the govt: the Anna Hazare redux

‘A great antagonist is some one who believes in the inherent goodness of his own intentions and a great drama is where everyone is an antagonist.’—Goldman

Some how I am getting a hang about the times of our freedom struggle (doesn’t mean that I think this is the ‘second freedom struggle’). All the hard facts about our freedom struggle aside, there are certain nuances and things about the atmosphere that becomes revealed to you in unique occasions like this… A politically shrewd person raising the right kind of issue with an immaculate sense of timing… The government which is exasperated by ‘this weird man’ with ‘eccentric ideas’ rigid in his own way… The other Indian parties and stake holders who don’t agree with him in most issues but still put up with him because he is effective… The public dictated more by pure emotions rather than nuances and subtext, ready to sacrifice for this total stranger… History does repeat in its own mysterious ways.