Some friends have pointed out that although I am occasionally amusing, the only thing that makes me interesting at parties is that I'm a working screenwriter. If I have any value on this vast cyberplain of narcissism, it's as a window into a world a fair number of humans would like to live in.
Taking the point, I'm going to start posts about the process of writing for a living. Not about the lifestyle, spiritual satisfaction, "Where I get my ideas", that crap. Day in, day out, if you write for a living, you fill pages. One just doesn't vomit up a story and allow the world to bathe in its genius (sorry, message-board boys, not how it works). Storytelling is a job. And no, I'm not saying scriptwriting is, I'm saying storytelling itself is a bone-breaking, grinding goddam job. The best job in the world, the only job I know of where you can make yourself cry because somehow the little imaginary man on the page did something you weren't expecting, but a JOB. Jobs have techniques, tools, problems and solutions.
And then, beyond just managing to craft a narrative that even makes sense, each medium has its own little quirks. Scripts themselves are like sonnets -- infinite variety (and quality) all within a quite formalized structure.
This will be a light blogging week, as I'm in the final sprint on the Transformers first draft. After that, though, I'll try to bang out at least two posts a week on some aspect of the art and science of writing for a living. Even if you believe there's no one right way to tell a story, you need certain tools to tell it your way. I'll show you how my particular toolbox works.
If I hear back from Nick over at CHUD, we'll begin by excerpting an article I wrote for their magazine MOVIE INSIDER on adaptation.