Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Script writing 101

Super busy lately with writing the latest draft of my script. I finished the previous draft last September and hadn't really thought about it much since. After coming back from India last February, the urge to write gradually increased.

Then I met a young screenwriter, Joseph, and suggested that we collaborate. He's a devout Christian who teaches Sunday school and goes to church every week, so at first I thought he'd be put off by the homosexual content. But after he read the first draft, he seemed unfazed, so we embarked on this journey of collaboration.

From the very beginning, I knew this is a very personal story. It's not autobiographical, but I felt nobody could understand the sentiments of the main characters better than I, so I took a very active role in the writing. We'd meet and talk about plot points, then I'd go home and write, and show him the results the following week, and he'll give me feedback. Sometimes he would rewrite or add to certain scenes. Having someone as a sounding board was really helpful, and the weekly meetings provided motivation and momentum.

Yet the writing process was often slow and painful for me. Most days I could only do one or two scenes. But I soldiered on. I noticed that having a writing partner drastically improved my writing. Discussing the scenes with someone else helped me visualize them better, and made them less one-dimensional. Joseph was always full of good humour, never judgmental about the characters or my ideas.  All in all one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I've ever had.

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