Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Of Novels and Scripts

NOTE: The manuscript below does not belong to me, unfortunately. It is merely being used here to entertain you while the page loads. Or something. Anyway, it fits the general theme of this post. Also, I am not responsible for scandalous epistles reproduced on this website. Read this charming Victorian handwriting at your own risk. Remember the little lectures I gave you, children? Here and here? You never know what these people may do.
wordsSome of you may know of my love for National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy, two related programs encouraging the general populace to turn off their TV's for a month and actually write something. No school book reports. And NO scholarly dissertations on the organization of Wildebeest colonies throughout Africa.

I attempted the novel program back in November 08. I never finished- by the time Thanksgiving rolled around I realized it was futile to attempt to finish my 11,000 word manuscript. Part of this was due to the lack of plot. I've always had a difficult time creating a coherent story line. When I was younger I'd frequently skip to the end of books to read the last paragraph. Climactic parts have never been my favorite. Certainly I get wrapped up in novels- but I tend to focus more on the characters and the general style of the book I'm consuming.
Needless to say, when I tried to write myself, I tried so hard to make the characters just as I wanted them- instead of concentrating on the action. I naively assumed that plots were somewhat dispensable. This was a mistake. My novel was a whirlpool in the midst of Editor's Hell- duplicate characters wrecked havoc in a strange new world full of word deadlines and "pep talks" that were emailed out by the writing "staff" to all those brave souls who somehow found themselves involved in this massive literary expedition.

Suffice it to say, I now have greater respect for The Plot- something that would have kept my novel alive.

April '09 came quickly- time for the script writing challenge. I chose to do an adaption of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. I'd never read this book in its entirety, but having read bits of it, assumed it was the ideal book for me to mess with.
The stage script that result was epic. Not epic in the sense of being "awesome," rather epic in that it required a grand total of 70+ actors. I finished, feeling very satisfied, and a bit overwhelmed- due to my massive cast.

Altogether, Script Frenzy had been a good challenge- something to occupy my time. I would go to my theater rehearsals and write while I waited to go on stage.
I'd work on it in the evenings and during the day when I had a spare hour. Since portions of Bunyan's work is actually in "play" format, much of my job was simple organizing words.

So will I finish the script challenge this year? It has been neither confirmed nor denied that I will triumphantly write that last page and receive a insignificant little badge that pronounces me a winner.

But until I find out, it's sure going to be a lot of fun. Want to join me?

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