Last night I broke out my pilot. It had been about six months since I looked at it and I had a few reactions I wasn’t expecting:
- The first two scenes are pretty funny
- The second half of act one needs more work than the tile of my 1950’s wackadoo kitchen
- Act two is about as together as Sonny and Cher after a few blissful years of marriage
I’ve done enough writing in my past to not worry about the current state of my pilot. I just needed to go back to my outline.
So I did.
The story wasn’t clear enough. And then it became even more clear that in order to have a solid story I need to know more about the characters. Who are these people, why are they in my script, and what makes them tic?
The Transformation of This Blog
As many of you know, this blog started out as a journey for Tourette Syndrome. Who was my kid and what made him tic? What would his life story be? Would it be a comedy, a tragedy, a giant mystery full of gluten free bread and neurologists?
I started this blog when my son was 4. He’s now 14 and doing very well. (He starts high school next year! He’s six two! Eeeegaaads!)
The truth is, like most good scripts, his story came out when I gave him time. I wanted a cheeky basketball player. He wanted to be a Vegan animal lover. I wanted a straight A student with a perfectly clean bedroom. He’s an A/B student with a room that looks like Gravity Falls and Harry Potter threw up in it. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
When I didn’t force my kid to be anything other than who he was supposed to be, he was able to develop into the kid he’s supposed to be. He has limits and boundaries, but freedom to shine. I will extol that same grace to my pilot.
A Writing Schedule + Freedom = Great Characters (for me and my scripts)
With that in mind, I plan on giving myself some freedom over the summer to get off my crazy work train of a schedule and continue to write.
In addition to my morning spiritual books, I am toggling between:
What Do These Books Have in Common?
Amazing characters and insight. From a Jersey Girl bail bondsman, to an intelligent, fast talking orphan, to fascinating insight on the correlation between IQ and empathy, these books take me in. They make me laugh. And they make me think.
My Next Job Move
As I wonder about what next year holds for me at my current job, I can honestly say that whatever happens it will develop my character. Like the people in the books I am reading now, I will be forced to ask questions like:
- Why am I making the choices I’m making?
- What is my definition of success?
- How can I be me while still contributing to a group? (My family/finances)
- How can frustration be transcended into personal growth?
In the end, as I develop the character of Andrea, I will pour what I’ve learned into the characters of my pilot. And that, my friends, is really exciting! It’s my favorite kind of script – one where the lead character goes into the unknown with a bit of courage, sass and, hopefully, some humor.
Your Life Who?
Whoeever you want it to be. You got one shot. Make it worth it!