Making the Pivot (part fourteen)
So the process of expanding the screenplay into the novel continues.
Like trench warfare slowly.
It should be easy, right? All the dialog and the shape of the plot and the characterization is already established. How hard can it be to fill in around it?
For someone who works from outlines a lot, I imagine it’s not hard at all. My problem is that my outlines are generally in my head, and have the consistency of Silly Putty–or rather, that’s the structural explanation of the problem.
The actual, honest-to-god, view through the barbed-wire problem is that all that fun I had doing the screenplay? The part I loved a few months ago? Yeah, that was also the fun I would normally have writing the novel. The weaving together of time and place and character and language and story is what engages me. That’s most of the reason I write.
And that part’s done.
So I’m basically doing all the stuff that’s not fun–or at least the fun quotient is significantly reduced–and it’s Not. Going. Fast. At. Allllllll. Not because it’s hard, but because…
I hate to use the B word in a family-friendly blog. Or even this one. But imma gonna do it.
It’s boring. Tedious. The feedback mechanisms that keep me plowing ahead normally are broken.
It’s like all the work and none of the play and I understand Jack Torrance a little better now.
On the other hand, I’ve got a screenplay done. And in a couple of months I’ll have a screenplay and a novel done. And I do enjoy giving chapters to my Target Audience Focus Group, a.k.a. my son, to read. Will those inducements prove enough to keep me from going after Shelley Duvall? Boy, I hope so. Topiary creeps me out.