Writing Life

Now that Christmas is behind me, I am back to the writing life and happy to be here again. I have a few projects on the go besides my work as an editor at suite101.com (always looking for writers, by the way). Besides working on my new book, I am writing a treatment for The Freedom of Jenny. I have never done this before and have found the Internet to be really useful in providing tips on how to create this document. I have completed the first draft, and will put it down for a few days before reworking it. If you are also working on a treatment, check out Storm Force Pictures – found it to be intuitive and clear in its instructions.

The biggest problem for me is that I feel as if I am skipping over so many details — both historical and those integral to the book. I suppose a treatment is just a snapshot of the characters, plot and themes, but as the original author of the story, it is difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out. I am only allowed ten pages, so I have to be very specific in what I think will be important to the producer and what will not. I think I might include a historical time line, just to keep the story in context. I am not sure if this is done or not, but I really think it will help those less familiar with African-American history understand why the characters behave the way they do.

Because a script writer will eventually be the one developing the story, I really want him or her to have a full understanding of the historical context. I am not sure if I will ever have the chance to meet with the scriptwriter, but if I do, then I can write less and engage in more of a verbal exchange. This is all new to me, but I am loving the writing.

As a writer with more than one project on the go, one of my biggest challenges is how to divide up my time so that each project gets the attention needed. I have tried to do this in two hour segments, given that I have approx six hours a day to work with, but this method does not work well for me at all. The problem is, once I really sink my teeth into something, I find it impossible to switch gears. Rather than forcing it, I plan to continue to give my mornings to editorial work and my afternoons to working on my novel, doing research and other writing. If the words are flowing, I will stick with that project, but when I get blocked, I’ll move on to something else. I think this will work better than the two hour increments, but if it doesn’t I will try something else. Because I have more work this year than I used to, I have to become more organized and avoid burnout.

And what will I do for distraction? Well, as long as there is still snow on the ground, I think I will focus on Rock Band, but I look forward to walking on the beach or in the woods again. Never underestimate the importance of a good creative break!

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