Z is for Zilch #atozchallenge #AZchat

This is the end of the A to Z challenge, and I have to say I’ve got nothing for Z. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

It’s been an interesting month, posting six days a week instead of just on Mondays. As a writer, I appreciate the consistency of it. Having to meet a deadline every single day (except Sundays) for a month was a good experience. But it’s often taken precedence over the writing I should be doing on my book. That’s not so good. However, I’ve gotten to interact with a lot of new people, and that’s great. New input is always good, I think.

I’m looking forward to centering my thoughts on my book now. I was feeling a little stuck for a while, not sure which way I wanted to let the story go. Now I’m ready to get the outline finished. (Well, maybe not completely finished. I never seem to finish an outline until I’m almost done writing…I need to get better at that.)

I worked for years in TV and feature film development. I’ve read countless books on story structure, how to write screenplays, what goes into a successful script. Reading and having an opinion is one thing, but writing is something else altogether. I’m very organized. I plan everything. But stories are more unruly for me. I tend to wrestle with them and find the beats as I get to know the characters and the situation. (I really hate storyboarding. It’s my least favorite part of the process. I wish there were a better way, but I haven’t found it so far.) I’m happy once the basic decisions have been made and I can settle down to write.

Writing a script is like writing in shorthand. Using as few words as possible to evoke a mental image. Observing the scene, always showing, not telling. Keeping a lot of white space on the page so the reader reads down the page, never across. Hinting at things, but leaving it open to interpretation and augmentation by the director and the actors.

This is my first attempt at a novel. I didn’t expect the transition from screenplays to be so difficult. Of course, it’s a lot more words…and a lot more description! Novels are denser than scripts. It’s okay to spend a page or two on one thought. Sometimes it’s even okay to tell and not show. These are things I’m getting used to. I’ll get this transition under my belt, and banish the zilch for good!

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