by Shelton Bumgarner
I only find myself thinking of screenwriting as opposed to writing a novel because, well, it’s much easier to write a screenplay than a novel. A screenplay has a very specific formula as to how to do it, while a novel is significantly more difficult to pull off for various reasons. I like the idea of my job being to simply write dialog and provide a vision for the director and producer.
Something about that is really appealing.
Now, of course, I’m probably going to write a short story or novella before I write the screenplay in an effort to flesh out the story some. That’s the only way I can think of to be ready to write a screenplay when the time comes. I have vowed to myself I’m not going to buy Final Draft until I’ve at least finished a short story to base the screenplay on.
That seems only reasonable, given that that would prove, to some extent, that I’m serious, for once, about writing a screenplay. I have a novel concept I interested in writing as well, but I’ve put that on the back burner for the time being for no other reason than the screenplay concept seems to be flowing a lot easier right this second. The key thing is, I have to put in the work. I have to stop just daydreaming about a concept and start to put in the elbow grease needed to get the job done.
Because I don’t have a muse to tell me to shut up and write, I find myself bouncing around a lot from concept to concept. I talk a lot about what I’m going to do, but too often when I actually sit down to write things out, I choke. But right now because my mind is on something else — getting a professional digital camera — it seems as though at least for the moment things are flowing a bit better than usually creatively.
I’m, by nature, a daydreamer, so I know that if I don’t do something sooner rather than later a few more years could go by and I will not have actually written anything. I’m hoping this is different, for once. I’m hoping that I’m going to actually get something done for once.
It’s difficult, though. It’s difficult for lots of reasons. But, I have to say, as I’ve said before, I really enjoy the culture of screenwriting a lot. It’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy how social it is, how communal it is. It’s a lot of fun to know that should I actually get anything done that there is a vibrant screenwriting community that might, just might welcome me into the fold.
But I have to get the work done. I have to actually do something. I can’t just daydream and then expect other people to do the work for me. I am such a daydreamer — and need a muse so bad — that it’s difficult for me to find anyone one thing to obsess about. I bounce around a lot creatively. So much so that no one takes me serious. Yet I’d like to think maybe I might be able to change that sooner rather than later. I hope, at least. That’s the goal.