If there’s one thing that I didn’t expect going into this year is that I would begin to broaden my scope as a storyteller and as a writer, as I’ve merged into the world of script writing. While it hasn’t been a whole lot, it’s at a scale already where what I write in that medium is already seeing results. I’ve done some occasional script writing growing up, and up until this year, the most recent credit to my name without ever having to lift a finger was an adaptation a family friend did of one of my chapters from A Moment’s Worth. This is a path that I’ve had every intent on taking down the line, and I’m so glad I’m already getting on that.
Script writing has been and continues to be a learning process. While the objective of telling a story remains the same, the way you go about it as far as format and structure goes is something that takes time to get used to. When writing a novel, you’re in charge of overseeing every detail established in your universe. When it comes to character interaction, that even goes for every gesture made, every gasp that’s taken, and whether or not one character looks another in the eye. In script writing, while there are stage instructions and set descriptions, it’s best to leave some parts a little loose. That goes for leaving room for how the actors deliver their lines, their actions, and any potential improvisations, so long as they’re staying true to their characters.
It takes a team to bring a script from page to stage or screen. While you may have a vision, so does the director, and the actors eventually will as well once they get a grip on their characters. Not everything is going to play out exactly as how you envision it, and that is something I had to additionally adjust to. The good news is that it falls right within one of my goals I made for the year, and that is to get more involved in creative collaborations. Just two weeks ago, I met with the director of my short play, “Common Ground,” and he was telling me all about the creative additions and enhancements made to the story; all of which I really loved hearing.
While you have all these people telling this story together, just remember: At the end of the day, you as the writer still retain the power to know of every detail, motive, secret, and backstory carved into the universe of your creation.
It’s because of the fact that you can’t predict the precise outcomes, despite the words written on the page, that the final product just might blow you away. I’ve spoken in the past on how, from the little experience I’ve had with script writing, just how eerie it is to watch actors perform the characters that you created, reciting the dialogue that you wrote. Depending on just how effective the performance is, it just might blow you, the writer, away.
Just to give an example, in preparation for seeing the film “Gook” later today, I was listening to an interview done with director/writer/actor Justin Chon. He talked about this moment while filming where he teared up from watching the performances of a particular scene; only for a producer to tell him to snap out of it, reminding him that he wrote it. Yes, he may have written it, but sometimes, the delivery can have surprising results; even from the perspective of the creator.
My short play “Common Ground” will start showing next week as part of Bindlestiff Studio’s “Stories High XVII” showcase. While I as the writer have not seen the final product yet, I await to see everyone’s efforts come together, by way of my ongoing journey as a writer of scripts.
An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.
Lastly, “Stories High“ is coming up next week, running from August 31st-September 16th at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco. If you’re in (or will be in) the San Francisco Bay Area during that time and want to come see it, then buy your tickets here.