Editing vs. Procrastinating

 

So after several attempts of dyeing my mother’s hair pink through fits of laughter, I’ve decided to write about one of the things I encountered during the writing process of Frozen Lake: PROCRASTINATION.

Procrastination is an interesting task.
I’m impressed by how the mind can conjure up the most random of things to do when in need of distraction.
I really need to make those 27 animal felt kits I’ve had for seven years.
I think it’s time to re-arrange my DVDs alphabetically. Only 721 to go.
I always wanted to speak Russian… now’s obviously the best time to learn!

Most of the time we don’t actually realise we are procrastinating either.
It’s only about half way through the distraction that we remember the task at hand.
We shout profanities, reiterate what we actually need to be doing and then… procrastinate.
Be interesting to map out my family tree and see if I’m related to royalty…

I found that I did this a lot whilst writing Frozen Lake.
But my brain was pretty clever about the distraction.
The task it came up with was such a good distraction, that I actually convinced myself I wasn’t procrastinating…

Editing.

Don’t get me wrong.
Editing your screenplay is a must. Your screenplay will never be perfect the first time around, and often redrafting will lead to believable dialogue, intense emotions and strong action.
However.
I’d suggest editing your script after your first draft.
Unlike me.

I would write five lines, then religiously go back through each line changing words and changing sentences.
I would write five more lines, then go back again.
Would my character ‘giggle’ or ‘chuckle’?
It made the whole writing process draaaaaaaaaaag on forever.
It wasn’t necessary.
It was procrastination.

And to be honest it made my script worse.
I kept changing dialogue that would have a natural flow to something clunky and forced simply because I felt like I had to change something from each line.
I was scared of writing a script.
What if no one liked my story?
What if I got stuck half way through?
What if there were unexplainable gaps within the plot?
I was so worried about these things that I just convinced myself that ‘editing’ was the key to avoiding these issues, when in fact all I was doing was putting off writing the script all together.

I reached page 30 and realised what I was doing.
I read back through my script and realised what I mess I had created by over-thinking and over-editing and over-procrastinating.

I deleted the whole 30 pages.
And started again.
I wrote.
No pause.
No going back.
No editing.
I wrote the entire thing.

And it felt amazing.
Everything flowed together without effort.
The characters did things I never expected them to do.
Unplanned scenes slotted easily into the narrative.
And I actually enjoyed writing it.

It was good to give myself a little bit a faith and allow myself to write without constant self criticism.
It made me stop editing and procrastinating.
And now I have a full length feature script ♥

Now I can properly edit and redraft my script.
…or I can start knitting that Christmas jumper
…or maybe bake a cake shaped like the Eiffel tower.
…or maybe…

 

 

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