Pilot Update-Writer’s Corner

So when the Summer first started I posted this blog post about wanting to really work on my own pilot episode for a tv show concept I’ve had floating around my head for years and years and YEARS. And I mentioned wanting to get that pilot done this Summer. I wanted to track my progress by posting updates here on MLW as I go, and yet here we are heading into Fall season and no pilot yet. Ugh! So frustrating! I do this to myself all the time. pilot-season[1]

I did start to write it, and then I just hit a wall.  I just don’t know how to start it all. I have lived in this made up world of characters for so long but to put an official beginning to it all, is so challenging to me. I have all these ideas for my characters, and story arcs for further down the road, even further seasons down the road, but nothing for right now. I have tons of dialogue ideas and storylines for how love stories will play out, and who will be paired with who. But to actually sit down and come up with a way for it to all begin…I’m kinda lost. I have some vague ideas, but I don’t know how to put them into words. How does a writer write, without words?

You research I guess? Right?

I’ve rewatched some of my favorite tv show pilot episodes, and I’ve researched the writing process.

Here are a few things that I learned…

*Scripts can start with a teaser- which is up to 5 pages and shows location/short opening to the story.

*TV scripts usually have 45-63 pages.

*However, each page filmed is about a minute long give or take and so they advise you to keep script length between 50-55 pages.

*Scripts are broken into usually anywhere between 4-6 Acts.

*Scripts can contain character description.

*Act breaks signal commercials- the goal is to leave a solid “cliffhanger” at the end of each act.

*Each Act serves it’s own particular purpose:

Act 1-Current story at hand.

Act 2-Heavy Conflict, trying to get out of it.

Act 3- Lowest point, conflict winning.

Act 4- Characters begin to prevail.

*Each 5 Act teleplay should be between 9-12 page Acts, while 4 Act plays should be 15 pages per Act.

*Less is more- do not over describe in script, just enough to convey style and atmosphere, and substance-dialogue included-to not overwrite dialogue. Ask yourself does the character NEED to say this?

 

So let’s hope these tips can help me on my pilot writing journey.

More updates to come soon!

I’ve still got a long way to go!

 

* I do not take credit for the image used. *

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Writer’s Corner: The Neglectful Writer

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Anyone who stumbles upon this blog recently, would think of it as a fashion/lifestyle vibes type blog. The truth of the matter is on some days it is. These are things I am interested in and this blog is basically an open diary featuring things I love and care deeply about.  But at the root it is supposed to be a safe place to tell the stories I have been harboring in my heart and soul and notebooks for years. Or the stories I get inspired to write day by day. And because of this, I feel like my blog motto has taken a bit of a blow over the past few months.

Lately, (and I know I’ve posted things like this before) I have been neglecting writing my own stories. It’s something I’ve been avoiding. Coming up with excuse after excuse, first it was well I’m starting a new job- I need to get acclimated, then it became well now I’m just too busy to write, (life is too crazy, too much is going on, *hint hint* Dear Michelle, this is your clue- all the more reason to write down your feelings) and now I don’t know maybe it’s the summer slump that’s getting to me.

Writer’s block is real. But I think this is bigger. This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled to create [what I feel] is worthy content, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. But this feels like a bit more than a block. It’s not so much like I haven’t had ideas, I always have ideas floating around in my head. It’s just that when I sit to start a blog post, there’s nothing there. And I end up looking for fashion inspiration and doing a post about that instead. 

That pilot script for my own television show I’ve been meaning to write since I was in high school has yet to get started. My short story series “On The Run” I started back in March, has been on a halt. Every time I start a series, I end up going on a hiatus for a longer time than I should. It’s like I lose momentum, or I’m just too lazy to take the time to finish. Sometimes I can have a great story idea and I will even jot it down, but I never write it up. Often times just the thought of sitting at a computer for hours drumming out a story, just is too much of a tall order and I decide against it and instead decide to watch my favorite tv shows and obsess over the love stories of my favorite couples. (*hint hint* Dear Michelle, but what about YOUR characters, what about their love stories.) Not to mention that my blog posting schedule has been all over the place lately. Ugh, I hate when that happens, I really do.

It’s terrible to have to feel the guilt of finally admitting to myself that I am a writer and then feeling as though I’ve bailed on it completely. I feel like I’ve been struggling with inspiration lately. As I mentioned this has happened before and I’ve pushed through it, so I know I will this time too. But it doesn’t make it any easier, to go through it. Sure life gets busy and it becomes easy to neglect our passions. But I imagine creative people with creative souls go through this vicious cycle every now and again. I’ve seen the many YouTubers talk all about it. It’s just a funk.

In fact a quote by Anne Tyler comes to mind in this moment while I sit and ponder why a writer doesn’t want to write…

“If I waited til I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”

That’s what it is. I’ve just been waiting. Waiting to have time. Waiting to feel less tired. Waiting to get everything just so, in my head BEFORE writing it down on the page. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting- to write. The truth is the only thing that is going to help me break this bullshit streak, is just to nip it in the bud and write. Just write. Even if it sucks. And start the scripts I’ve been writing in my head for basically half my life.

Who knows maybe this post was my therapy. Writing this post is like my version of a girl going through a bad breakup who decides to burn all her exes pictures and letters. Haha. I find that when something is getting to me and feels like a weight on my back-pushing me down, preventing me from reaching my full potential and I write a blog post about it, it’s kind of like me releasing it into the world and admitting it to myself and realizing that it’s something that either just needed to be said, or something that I feel I need to spend my time working on and improving. For the past year and half I have put so much work into bettering myself and conquering my anxiety over certain aspects in my life. This is currently the main issue I need to put my focus on. I have faith that I can conquer this one too. Hey I’ve done it before. I can certainly do it again- only this time, I’m going to do it better.

And for anyone dealing with their own personal writer’s slump, may your pen be mightier than that sword you feel has pierced your creative soul.

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

Writer’s Corner

writers corner

This week on Beyond Belief…. 😉

“Writer’s Block…True or False. Fact or Fiction.”

(Who knows that reference, high-five if you do, we can now be best friends!)

Anyway in today’s Writer’s Corner I would like to focus on the dreaded Writer’s Block. In my research of writers that have come before me, I have heard many upon many say that writer’s block is a myth. That you just have to write and get over it somehow, and eventually something will come. Well to that I say, phooey! Yes phooey. It’s bull. Not the part about powering through, but the part about it being a myth. Any writer knows that sometimes, you just can’t put it into words. Sometimes, your images are flying rapid speed in your mind and they can’t quite find their way onto your page. Or you simply don’t have anything in dire need of pouring out of your heart at that moment. You are spent, mentally exhausted. I’m going through it as we speak, (why else do you think you are getting two Writer’s Corners this week!) I think that’s what brought up the idea for this post. I’m sitting at my computer trying to think of something great to post and I’ve got nothing. Sure I could throw something together, but it’s not anything I’d be proud of. I even tried for a poem, got through about 4 lines and nothing after that. What the hell? It sucks, it just does. But I do believe it does exist. A writer is never going to be 100% inspired every second of everyday. 100% inspiration any day is a stretch for that matter. And yes, there are times (most of the time) that we will have to fight to write. Write even when can’t. Even when we don’t want to. And just accept the fact that it will suck. But it will be something. But at the same time, writer’s block is still real to me. I know it is. Sometimes it just gets the best of me, and I wind up removing myself for a day or two and then viola like magic, back in business, and up and running, and typing away like I’ve been trying to all along. Because I have something to say, and people are going to hear it. Isn’t that always the case? After a little break, new ideas and exciting story lines are at the tip of your brain and you are unstoppable. So my advice… (not that I’m in the business of giving any really…but hell sharing is caring, right?) notice your writer’s block, and understand that it’s not forever. It is real. I feel you. We are here, all in this together. Give it a day, give your mind a break, and recharge. Do something else that you love. Go outside, talk to a friend, look through unfinished pieces. Something will spark you. The world around you is your blank canvas, paint it red, or yellow, or freakin’ magenta! God speed my friends. Keep writing, and keep feeling all the feels you lovely humans. And feel free to comment, let’s chat! We writers need to stick together.

So…what’s your take on writer’s block? Spoiler Alert, it’s cool if you disagree with me, that’s what opinions are for. Go on and have them! I sure have mine. 😉 And if there are any specific topics anyone would like me to cover on MichelleLeighWrites “Writer’s Corner” let me know! I am open to suggestions, and I think it could be really helpful to share with each other; writer to writer. Let’s start a conversation. 😀

* I do not take credit for the image used. *

Stick around for more “Love Conflicted” COMING SOON!

-<3-