22 April 2015

Go on, I dare you.

So yesterday I met up with my writing critique group (shout out to Yvonne, Amanda and Simon here...hope the three of you are reading this).

Once a month we meet for coffee and critique 10 pages of each other's novel-in-progress. It's something I find both fun and intense (we really do give each other open and honest feedback) and I have to say I always come away from these critique sessions with my brain buzzing. This state of crazy, interconnecting thoughts set on high volume inside my head generally continues for a couple of days after.

14 April 2015

The beginning is just that...the start of something

I found this last week. I won't admit to just how regularly my fingers type Lloyd Dobler into Google and then click on search, but let's just say it happens a bit.

This one. This was a real find...something that set off a flutter of dancing butterflies in my stomach. It's the first page of the very first draft of Say Anything.

PLEASE, please note the title underlined at the top of the page: GOLDEN YEARS
Hard to believe, right? There is NO way the movie could ever have been called anything but SAY ANYTHING.

I read this page of typed folder-bound screenplay, first with the restlessness of bubbling excitement.

Then I took a deep breath, calmed my mind and read it again. Slowly.

I think what struck me most was this: sitting on the computer screen in front of me was the actual beginning. This was where a movie that I, along with countless others around the world, have loved, laughed with, felt both individually and inextricably connected to, started.

As Cameron Crowe writes in the post that accompanies the page on his official websiteIt began as a story about a golden girl, Diane Court, who also worked in her father’s nursing home, helping the residents through their “Golden Years.”  Over time, and many more drafts, the story also became about the lovelorn kick-boxing suitor — Lloyd Dobler — who identified himself and his mission in the very first scene.

SO the SAY ANYTHING that we know and love started out being something quite different.

I think I really love knowing this little snippet of background because it parallels so perfectly with the changing shape of my novel as I dig deeper and deeper into my 2nd draft.

Characters are revealing more of their layers, strands within the story are beginning to connect themselves in ways that I never expected and yet these connections make perfect sense. My central character feels so real to me now I may just know her better than I know myself. 

On days when I'm feeling a bit down about just how LONG re-drafting seems to be taking, it's this global strengthening and re-shaping of my story that I can see is happening which perks me up. It might be taking me a while to get there but when I do I won't be disappointed by the view. I just know it.

Oh, before I sign off, there's one other pearl from the post by Cameron Crowe that I MUST share with you.

Is this perfect or what?

Oh and thanks also to Lowell Marchant, my neighbor at the time, who knocked on the door one day when I was trying to write and introduced himself.  “I’m Lowell,” he said, extending a handshake.  “I’m a kick boxer, sport of the future… “