Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ride on

Still working on this but I don't mind you seeing my mistakes; I'm still learning.

My weekend was not as productive as I had hoped, not helped by the fact that I was feeling guilty for sending off HOM with the kids to the playground then discovering it was Father's day! Why can't the world decide on one day? It was June in the UK, which bright spark moved it to September? And the internet was playing up. I didn't get any new stories down, as intended, but I did manage to work some more on a few existing pieces as well as my screenplay.

The screenplay is now up to 115 minutes which means, it being a comedy, I have only another five pages to write. Five pages? What the hick!? So how come I am only up to page 146 of the 267 page novel I'm adapting?
I predict a lot of editing. Note to self, adapting = shrinking.

I am now making more harsh critical choices as I write. It's been an eye opener. And I am taking consolation in the knowledge that although I cannot get across all of my novel with the limitations of the time frame, I will still have the novel; the screenplay doesn't erase the novel. They are different and that's what I'm learning to love about the screenwriting experience. Some novelists who have signed over the rights of their books to film agencies lament that the film doesn't stay true to their vision. Well, I am in charge of my vision, so although I am changing elements which simply do not transfer to film, I am still deciding how those elements should be presented. For now. Which brings me on to my next point.

Film is collaborative. I love that about it. It excites me. With the input of others my story can be even better than I could have imagined. How cool would that be? What I lose in page points I acquire in the beauty of cinematography. However, there is also the distinct possibility that, even if I were to be lucky enough to sell my screenplay once finished, it might never get made. This happens all the time. Being good enough and getting nowhere is not the privilege of the novelist/short story writer. It goes right across the board. But what can you do? All rides and no fun makes for an unhappy playground but I simply must write on.

16 comments:

Lori said...

You seem to already be getting a lot from this screenplay adaptation, so whatever the outcome, is all for the good.
The painting evokes to me imminent danger. Maybe it's my motherly instincts, but when the child escapes the stroller and gets to the glass table ... When do you still find time for painting, in all this? You're such an inspiration. I have been thinking of starting to keep an "art journal" (or whatever mess comes out) and trying my hand at drawing and watercolor a little bit. I am afraid that the words will feel embarrassed by the bad company, though.

Rachel Fenton said...

Lori - I am getting a lot from the screenplay and just the simple act of leaning a new skill is making me feel I'm doing something positive.

I have paints and canvas in the laundry and the bathroom, it's acrylic - fast drying and mistakes can be painted over! A few dabs here or there when I'm in either room - that's how I get it done. Or when I'm in the bath - a small canvas and wash the brushes in the bath water!

I think it's great that you're keeping an art journal - I find art really feeds into my writing and they help each other along, but more than that, they help me along.

Watercolour is my favourite, too, but that doesn't work so well with a toddler in the house!

And I don't aim for realism or care if the finished painting will look nice on someone's wall (unless it's for someone else), I'm far more interested in painting my emotional response to things and building up a collection of feelings and moods.

My sketchbooks would make you laugh! Else you'd think them very odd!


Go with it, see what happens, don't have any expectations from it and let me know how you get on.

I think it's great that you're trying different things. And, for what it's worth, I think your sewing skills are enviable - and you translate! Brilliantly! I feel very mediocre when I read your blog.

Thomas Taylor said...

That painting is really interesting as it is. I hope you don't overwork it.

Rachel Fenton said...

HI Thomas - I'm wanting to tone down the white on the hair and define the foremost part of the roundabout. I'm happy with the textural contrasts and the overall colour feel.

Thaks - appreciate any feedback/advice though :)

Talli Roland said...

Love the painting, Rachel. I can feel the emotion in it.

Good luck with the writing!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Talli - appreciate that :)

Golden West said...

Keep on writing, Rachel. When opportunity knocks, you will be prepared to step through the door!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, GW. I will keep writing - because I have to. Couldn't stop this ride even if I wanted to!

patteran said...

The painting is already powerful and evocative even though the narrative hasn't fully emerged. I look forward to seeing the completed version.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Dick - the painting's one of a pair (so far) and I'm tempted to post the other one without commentary to see what you make of them.

Titus said...

How come I keep missing posts by you? Happening with Karen at Keeping Secrets too.
The painting is mesmerising - I love the diminishing scale of child, pushchair, car in that diagonal - in fact, all the angles of the picture are fabulously placed. The child's expression is also... holding me.

Screenwriting - I applaud you. Cannot get my head around drama/dialogue at all.

And the funny thing is, Gran Sixty lives in the same city as you. Having lunch with her tomorrow and we'll see show close your addresses are before I commit to postage. If she's near it could mean a whole package!

Rachel Fenton said...

Ha - Titus, I thought you were joking when you mentioned that before!

i can go pick up from Gran Sixty's else I can bank transfer you added postage?!

Either or - don't be putting yourself out of pocket missus!

Thanks for the painting feedback! Really appreciate that!

With dialogue I tend to throw out any notion of sentence structure and keep to a bare minimun. Less is always more!

Thank you :)

Titus said...

I'll let you know after lunch tomorrow! Just updated your order by accident, ignore any
e-mail. Still getting the hang of all this...

Rachel Fenton said...

Jolly good! :)

Dave King said...

I don't see the mistakes you mention - they're going to be happy accidents. No, seriously, ther is nothing amiss with the painting. You should find it thoroughly encouraging

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Dave - I'll take your praise as encouragement.