The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
– William Faulkner
While down in LA recently, my screenwriter BFF fussed at me for not sending her the revised copy of my novel, BLAQUE, for a second read. She had done a first read last year and ripped it a new one, and she was eager to see what I had done with it since. The answer is quite a lot, but I was getting increasingly annoyed at one simple fact.
I’m sure I’m not the only one whose stories play like movies in their head. Heck, mine even have soundtracks that I duplicate on my iPod in an attempt to recreate the genius I saw in my mind’s eye. Problem is, it NEVER reads the same. I see these amazing cut shots and action scenes in my head, I get giddy, I write them, and then I get sad. To me, they lack of bit of the flash I saw in my mind.
The screenwriter informed me that this is normal and that she experiences it too, especially since she is writing with the movie projector in mind. She simply pushes along, hoping that the spark will find itself in the next revision. For some odd reason, only the author seems to see this disconnect: the screenwriter recently did a horror movie treatment for an assignment that she thought sucked. Her professor and classmates loved it.
This is revision…hell, I’ve lost count…it’s over three, I know that much…of BLAQUE. I’m finally finishing up the ending (I had written it once, but that ending is now trapped in my old computer, never to see daylight again. Always backup, people.). Ms. Writer Of The Screen is on me every day about this piece, reminding me that waiting for it to read like the movie in my head is pointless. I agree.
I’m still going to listen to the Metal Gear Solid 2 Theme whenever I write, though. 🙂
PS- Seriously, go listen to the Metal Gear theme. If you are writing a spy or war novel, it will get you pumped up. The last minute or so of the song is just EPIC.