So I’ve finished the fourth draft of my latest screenplay, LP (think Clerks meets High Fidelity), and I’m fairly happy with the outcome. I fixed a couple of glaringly problematic scenes and switched some gender roles, and while I’m sure the script could still use a punch-up in terms of comedy-per-page ratio, I’m happy with where all the pieces land. It’s also interesting to note that the page count jumped from 85 to 96 between the first and fourth drafts. I’m happy it didn’t go past 100. I wanted to keep this script lean, and while I’m sad it went over 90 pages, I consider it an accomplishment as every feature I’ve written has consistently clocked in around 120 pages. Still, I don’t think it’s as neat and tight as my first script, Red Valley (but honestly, nothing I’ve written since has measured up to that in terms of sheer character motivation and arcs), nor nearly as deep or interesting like High Fidelity, but I think it lands for what it is.
Anyway, while I’m seriously trying to figure out how I can get LP made independantly, the other half of my brain is desparately trying to figure out what to write next. This is the scary time.
For months now, I’ve thought about this story and this story only. The nice thing about finishing a first draft is that you don’t have to think about what the next thing is going to be because the second draft is what it’s going to be. And so on and so on until you’re done. But once you are done, then what? Take a breather? Did that (Arkham Knight and a total Thrones re-watch, a-thank you). My brain is itching to create, but if you’re going to write a feature, you have to be glued to that idea because this story will be occupying your time for the next several months. Features aren’t for the commitment-phobes.
I have a few ideas for strories I’d like to get to (one I’ve had since 8th grade), but for whatever reason, now just isn’t their time. The motivation is absent. Again, “write every day,” but is it really writing if you have to force it? I understand this advice if you actually have a project you’re working on, then by all means, write every day. If you don’t, you’ll lose your rhythm and the script’s voice will fluctuate and suffer for it. But when you’re waiting for inspiration to hit, man, it’s fucking scary.
Will I ever write again? Was that the last screenplay? What if a new idea never comes? What if that was it and I’m all out? Like how Cobain felt after In Utero. Empty.