The creative process is a pretty bonkers thing, especially if you’re attempting to work in a group, with everyone bringing disparate and conflicting ideas to the table of what the finished article should be. As part of a film project I’m working on, this week has seen the most intense example of that process I’ve ever seen.

Remarkably, given how slow and ponderous I tend to be when writing creatively, I’ve completed three screenplays in the last four days. One was in collaboration with another writer while the other two were off my own bat. They’re shorts, of course (I’m not that fast), but that’s nevertheless the most creatively prolific I’ve been for a while.

It’s partially helped by it being related to a larger project, of course, so that, rather than it just being for my own amusement, it’s also intended to provide a solid foundation for the work of everyone else. Whether it gets to that stage or not remains to be seen, of course – I’m very happy with the third script, but I know other members of the team have their doubts.

It’s an interesting exercise, to throw yourself into a script only to have it torn apart by peers. Painful, yes, but it most cases it does end up with a better final result, as long as you can pull yourself back together and look at the task from another angle – which is exactly what I did with this third script, abandoning the structure and characters from the earlier interations and retaining only the setting and themes.

I call the third script ‘Katabasis’, which is a vague attempt to sound intelligent. As I understand it, Katabasis has multiple meanings, all generally along the lines of ‘going down’ – most commonly with regards to going from the centre of a country to the coast, or a descent into the underworld. All quite apt, for numerous reasons.

You’ll no doubt have noticed that I’ve not dropped any specifics about the project or the scripts – alas, until the project is officially announced that’s the way it has to be! But with luck I’ll be able to say more soon.

In other news, it’s suddenly started snowing again. Time for jumpers.

Categories: Writing


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