I spent most of the last week musing on, researching, and coming up with new concepts. I need to pitch an original comic property, and I really need to get a spec screenplay written by SDCC. I put a decent amount of work into this over the last week, and yet I don’t feel like I’ve made progress.
I fired off the 15 concepts I had usable paragraphs for to Bryan Hill before I went to sleep last night. Some I was happy with, others I wasn’t, and often the ones I wasn’t happy with were the ones I saw myself writing the most. In general, I wasn’t sure I had made any progress. Working in a vacuum of your own ideas doesn’t give you much room for feedback. After you do your thing on your own, I find it really helpful to tag in your Trusted Council and find out if you’re digging anywhere close to the right spot. You might love something and find out you’re full of shit, or alternately hate your ideas and not recognize that there’s gold in them thar hills.
I don’t think I’ve found any gold, but we’ll see for sure in a couple of days with feedback and some fresh eyes. The problem is that I haven’t found that one idea that’s clawing at my insides and waiting to get out. LYP, my on-hold for nearly a year now screenplay, was one of those ideas. It hit me like a flash and I stopped what I was doing (getting dressed to go out) and wrote it down. It was raw, unformed, and totally something I needed to write. In a lot of ways I did. I sat on it for a few months, mulling it over in my head and stretching it to a story. When I nailed the beats, a part of me felt like it was written, and the execution of the screenplay felt like something I had already done. Of course, this was my mind sabotaging me from finishing, but I often feel like once you break a story, the drafting and execution is the (sometimes) easy, (often) dull part.
Things happened and I put LYP aside. The further out I get from it, the harder it feels to go back. For various reasons I need to get a spec done, so the hope is that starting from scratch will loosen me up and allow me to actually finish this time. I can already tell, based on the ideas I fired off last night, that I’m putting myself in a box. I’m writing to fill a quota. The ideas are all designed to show off a particular skill set or position me in such a way that it’ll help open doors for future work. And while a spec is meant to do that, and often never gets made, I still want to tell a story that I must tell, not one I’m doing to further an end goal.
There are parts of every concept I like. I could conceivably write any of them. But I’m going to keep thinking about it and keep digging until I discover one that defies me not to write it. That’s how I’ll know I’ve got a winner.
For what it’s worth, I do really like an idea I came up with for one of my comic pitches, but it’s a super hero thing (of sorts). It’s a really tough market for super hero books, and I’m not particular drawn to them. The more I think about this story, the more I feel like I may just have to tell it though…