To complicate matters further, I had to format the script manually since my Final Draft program was not on my new laptop and all of my computer programs are still packed away in some box in a spare room. For those of you unfamiliar with film scripts, the format is written in granite. There are special indents for character names, stage directions within the dialog, the dialog, and large blocks of setting and stage directions. Not to mention, it must be typed in 12 pt. Courier, not New Courier, and no page can have more than 60 lines on it including the page number and the "continueds."
Although I love the act of creating the new world of a story and peopling it with interesting characters, I had given myself several months off from writing while I sold my condo and bought and moved into a new home. So when my generous friend offered me the opportunity to write this project, I was rusty (squeak, squeak), and there was no Dorothy muse to oil my hinges. After writing the first episode and getting feedback from the producers and actors, I lock-stepped along as best I could through the next couple of episodes (yes, I know, they're only 3-5 minutes long—mine kept approaching 7-8 minutes) until I froze in place. My eyelids must have been frozen in place, too, because I was having trouble seeing the yellow brick road to the end despite helpful advice and scene-break templates from one of the producers. (Where is Dorothy when you need her?) That's when AVOIDANCE set in. Yes, I had a deadline, but I still avoided.
So how did I complete the project before the deadline? I read fiction. I brought home loads of books from the library and just read. Then I read through the back issues of my writing magazines--Writer's Digest and The Writer. Forget Dorothy, I must have channeled 40 muses from those books and magazines (none of the stories provided ideas for the script; the art and craft were simply inspiring). I also started working on a novel I'd put aside some time ago. I was swimming in oil by then and I now had a heart for the work. I knew if I wanted to get to work on that novel big time, I must honor my commitment to finish the webisodes, and they had to be good.
I will be ever grateful to my friend for offering me this challenge. I rediscovered discipline and the tools that help me create. It was the kick start this Tin Lizzie needed to get back to writing again. I'm working on the novel and write every day. I even keep a word count. I'm also finally updating my long neglected Web site. And am I ever having fun! By the way, the webisodes are set to be filmed this summer. Of course, I'll let you know when you can view them.
By the way, go to www.sunnyfader.com to read the adventures of a truly talented and inspiring writer—Sunny Fader.