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1st-Jul-2013 06:26 pm - Write-a-thon progress report 4
wirrn, FTW
So after a Sunday of editing, writing, several phone calls and emails, and a face-to-face meeting (funnily enough at the same Thai restaurant where we came up with the original story ideas) my coauthor and I have solid drafts of two screenplays.

Soon they'll be in the hands of people who can give us feedback. I'm quite eager to hear their thoughts.

I think I'm going to take a night off from writing tonight to chill out, but after that, it's time to see if I can turn this momentum into some forward progress on the novel.
29th-Jun-2013 09:30 pm - Write-a-thon progress report 3
talent, pencil
Let's see...picking up after my last update, I met up with my coauthor on Wednesday night and we discussed revisions to the first of our two screenplays. Thursday was hectic, and I didn't manage any work on the screenplays. Friday night I managed a page or two on Screenplay #2, and today I wrote a whopping 9 pages.

I've sent the partial draft of Screenplay #2 to my coauthor, and am now turning to revise Screenplay #1, which we've completed a full draft of. Wheee!

As usual, my write-a-thon page is here: http://www.clarionwest.org/writeathon/wendyashaffer
25th-Jun-2013 09:34 pm - Write-a-thon progress report 2
Another page and a bit of screenplay today. I'd hoped to finish off Act Two today, but it's been a more hectic day today than I expected.

Most writers are very familiar with Chekhov's dictum that if a gun appears on the mantelpiece in Act One, it must be fired in Act Three. I think I may have discovered a related rule: if your characters order Chinese food at the beginning of a scene, they must open fortune cookies at the end. Writing convincing fortune cookie text is harder than it looks.

Remember, if you'd like to support Clarion West, you can make a donation at my Write-a-thon page here: http://www.clarionwest.org/writeathon/wendyashaffer
23rd-Jun-2013 09:08 pm - Write-a-thon progress report 1
talent, pencil
My Clarion West write-a-thon page is here: http://www.clarionwest.org/writeathon/wendyashaffer. Donations gratefully accepted. No amount is too small!

Did 2 pages of screenplay yesterday in before catching the train up to San Francisco to see Cliff Winnig, Cassie Alexander, and Heather McDougal read at SF-in-SF. I really ought to make it up to SF-in-SF more often. The readings are always good, and I'm pretty much guaranteed to bump into people that I know and don't get to see as often as I'd like.

Today I was pushing hard to see if I could get to the end of Act Two. And I didn't quite make it, but I did write 6 pages. This is a rather info-dumpy sequence, and I've been working hard to make the dialogue flow rather than just putting long speeches on the page. And trying very hard to make maximum use of visuals. Probably not entirely successfully, but I do feel like my grasp of screenwriting idiom is improving.

So, 8 pages total this weekend. Not a bad start.
22nd-Jun-2013 09:58 am - Write-a-thon!
talent, pencil
Just a quick note: Today is the last day to sign up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. If the Write-a-thon gets 300 participants this year, Clarion West will get a donation of $3000. $3000 pays for a lot of writing workshop goodness! As of last night, they had 293 people signed up. Sign-ups close today, so if you'd like to participate, go here and sign up: http://clarionwest.org/writeathon

I'm signed up for this year, with my writing goal being to finish and revise a pair of screenplays that I'm writing with my friend Cliff Winnig. (Cliff attended The Other Workshop. I think they're also doing a write-a-thon, which is worthy of support. I'll see if I can dig up a link.) I can't say much about the project these screenplays are for, but I will post regular updates on how many pages I've written/revised, along with some thoughts about writing screenplays (which I've never done before), writing to an outline (which I haven't done a lot of before), and writing collaboratively (which I haven't done before).

The link to my Write-a-thon page doesn't seem to be live yet, but as soon as it is I'll put up a link and ask those of you who are feeling generous to sponsor me.

(I have just mistyped "write-a-thon" as "write-a-ton", which is really what it's about, isn't it?)
talent, pencil
Today's clear-out of boxes in the garage yielded my notes from the Clarion West writers' workshop back in 2002. Here's some stuff I wrote down from our first class session with Paul Park about exposition:

Don't tell the reader information before they care.

It is often counterproductive to try to transfer exactly the author's impression into the reader's head. You need to let the reader do some of the work. The reader should have a clear impression, but not necessarily a specific one.

Choose detail that seems to suggest an entire narrative.

I also unearthed a large 8.5x11 photo of me wearing a Jar Jar Binks mask. Gotta get that scanned.
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