Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 26 - DONE plus my other goals for 2011

Today's Progress - 2524 Words on Harsh Climate
Running Total: 26978 Words for a finish!

I did not get to 30k, but some of the prose is pretty thin, and I expect this will get a little longer on rewriting. I will start the rewriting on Saturday, and I hope to have it ready for publication on the 9th, but I could take as long as MLK day.

One thing I forgot to mention about my writing goals for this coming year: I will be working on a lot of little dares, with some gaps in between. I will also have a lot of prep work to do on various stories. Therefore I'm going to set a goal of 1000 words a day (or maybe a little less) every day, even the days in between the dares. (For instance; tomorrow and Friday.) I can write on anything I feel like, but I have to keep up the word count.

No on to the ridiculous part of my 2011 Goals: the Blog.

I do have to post on this blog every day. That's a part of my routine. And I want this to be interesting reading, because the more readers I have the more pressure I feel to perform.

But I also have some ambitious goals to improve my blogging. For one thing, I want to be able to contribute some guest posts around to other blogs. And for another, I have my two other related blogs - Daring Adventures and the Spoilers Blog, which I haven't really used at all. But since I hope to keep up the "#samplesunday" stories and excerpts every week, I hope that will work with the Adventures blog. (Maybe, maybe not.)

But I really want to play with the Spoilers Blog. Because I have a dream for it.

I've always been a student of film and story, and I've always liked to do analysis of film. I was gravely disappointed when I learned that isn't what you do in grad school. (Grad school work appeared to involve only the analysis of the critics who talked about film. You analyzed how they analyzed each other. You never got to talk about film itself, just about the theories of academics who never made films themselves. It really sucked.) Ahem, anyway....

When I started studying screenwriting, however, I had one teacher who gave us a sheet with seventy lines on it. It was a kind of beat sheet for breaking down a TV movie, and she found it a useful tool for looking at film of all kinds. You'd watch the film and record when each scene started, and make a code mark for when some important plot point happened. It was a great tool for seeing plot structure - and you could apply it even to plotless "art house" films, as well as action stories and MOWs.

The cool thing about it was that it was blank. Sure, my teacher used it to teach a very specific structure, but you could also use the method to find unusual structures. It was a tool, like a ruler, to help you see the rhythms and patterns in a particular work. You could also use it on a flawed (or downright bad) movie to help see how it didn't work.

I loved that assignment. And long after the class was over, I kept doing it. Except that I couldn't limit myself to just listing the scenes and times, or marking important transitions. I found myself freeze-framing and charting, and breaking down the scenes themselves, and marking the entrances and exits, and revelations.

Eventually I realized I was writing a freaking commentary track. I usually wouldn't finish them, because it's a lot of work to no purpose, but I would generally use them to study some element of film - beginnings, ends, entrances, etc. And you've seen me do it here on occasion.

What I'd really like to do with the Spoilers Blog is to publish multi-part commentary tracks analyzing story. And though some of that could be done here, I don't really like to get into full spoilers here - and what I would want to do is to go into depth from the start about how this beginning is already setting up the end, etc. I don't want to just have a spoiler someplace off in a corner. I want to use that information fully.

That has long been a dream of mine - for many many years - but because it is time consuming, I probably won't do it. Still, if I can do it this year, without hampering my ambitious main goals, then that will prove I can do it. And now the blog is set up and waiting. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get around to it.

Tomorrow I will be writing a thousand words on something. I don't know what. It may even be bits and pieces of many somethings.

See ya in the funny papers!

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