The title of this blog post is lovingly borrowed from the film “The Extra Man” that I saw at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The line summarizes this quirky film quite well. After all the characters go through, the question remains: have we made progress? What constitutes progress? Were we looking to get somewhere? For the main character, played by Paul Dano, yes, he was looking to go somewhere, so did he? Yes and no. Like many enjoyable stories, there are different ways to interpret what you’ve just ingested. Either way, the film has made the case, in a wry sense, that they have obviously gotten to someplace new because time has passed and they aren’t in the same exact spot they were in when the story started. And that’s something, isn’t it?
Progress is elusive. I feel as though I have made substantial progress over the last year, but not in the ways I was expecting. It’s time for me to recap my writing projects and set a few goals for the remainder of the summer.
My novel project: it felt like my next big project, after months of work, however, it opened my eyes to the pitfalls of using a young, teenage protagonist. I realized that I’m not in a place right now where I want to write from that perspective. The storyline, though, paved the way to my novelette. I had this one concept in my head for months and months and finally, I sat down and took it out of the novel project and infused it into my novelette project, which I wrote in a fraction of the time–a week vs. six months. That means something to me. For me, it means that I found a voice and style that felt comfortable to me and therefore it was easier to get the story down onto paper.
Goal 1: revise and finish a draft of my novelette. Think about possible new storylines that could become a new novelette project.
Also, after realizing that I had neglected my screenwriting for some time and after seeing a good friend work hard on her own comedy script, I realized I missed screenwriting. I want to build up my screenwriting samples. I also realized that I want to write for TV right now. This led to my heavy research of Showtime’s Dexter and to the completion of a Dexter SPEC.
Goal 2: Finish an original pilot that I already have a semi-completed character list and plot outline for. Start work on a second SPEC.
So that’s basically it for now. Glad to be blogging again. I have a new goal within my blogging to write with more broad strokes. I became so imbedded in the novel project that everyday was like another mini step. I think it’s better to write about strides rather than every little step. Screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish) confirmed this for me with a tweet that I read last night: “People who tweet/blog every step of a long project make me hate the project. Anticipation tips into antipathy.”
But I will say, since I have a few select followers who also double as good friends, I think they’d humor me even if I wrote every detail down and then handed them a manuscript.