Chaining Myself to the Keyboard to Write The Western

It's of course by virtue of Murphy's Law that whenever I really want to sit down and write something, I never have time. And when I do have time, I don't really feel like writing. Sigh. True story: Last day of senior year of high school. I had a space opera series of stories that I'd been working on and was all pumped to start writing the latest installment. Outline was done. Starship battle was choreographed. I jumped off the bus and ran inside only to discover that a garbage truck had hit the electrical wires going to our house that afternoon, rendering my computer (and all the lights, fridge, etc.) inoperable. Go figure.

I've had a new feature script bouncing around in my head for a long time, and I've been itching to write it all summer. I'm pleased to announce that I've just completed the outline in my notebook and will begin working on the script this week.

What's especially exciting this time is that I'll be writing about the process as I go. I've written features before, but each one is different, and I'm planning to share my trials and triumphs as I work my way through. Unfortunately, I can't give too many details about the script itself, but hopefully I'll have something to share at the end. What I can say for now is, it's a western,... and that's about it. Sorry folks.

You can expect lots of action, a dangerous, untamed world, and unsavory characters claiming to be your friend. Be careful who you trust...

I'll be writing about how I work and the various tools and tricks I use. Completing an outline is a big step for me. Some people use note cards to keep their scenes straight, some people do everything in Final Draft, but I'm an outliner. Always have been. I have every scene, every beat of the story written out and broken into acts before I type a word on the computer. Just about any note or reminder I know I'll need goes into it. When I sit down to write, I have my notebook open right next to me.

This all comes after months of letting the story and characters ferment in my imagination. When I'm bored or falling asleep or have a minute or two, I'll play through a scene in my head or listen to the characters talk. When it's all too much to remember, I know I'm ready.

As I go through the outline, I date each scene as I complete it. I can go back through my notebooks and see how long it took me to get through stories and scripts I wrote years ago. Which scenes gave me trouble, when I got bored and stopped for a few months. It's always nice to look back and see everything ticked off in a matter of weeks.

Some days need more will power to get going than others. I'm hoping that between my outline and these posts, I'll have enough accountability to keep going. Plus, this time, I have an audience.[ref] Right? Right? Hello?[/ref] So hang in there, keep reading, and I'll have further bulletins as events warrant.