The Block

Okay, let’s try some analysis.

The line I’ve been staring at for so long is “I’m not going to school today.” From this line there are two paths obvious to me; one is preachy and boring, and will wind up in the same dustbin of ridicule as Reefer Madness. The other leads to the Columbine Massacre, which would be a sensational, disturbing conclusion no matter how it was handled. Impactful, as we used to say in the marketing world, and it would never, ever fly. More appropriately, it would never make it past the written page.

There is another path, to be sure, the path that eludes me, the path that the script will eventually take. The path that is interesting and entertaining, at least to the people holding that paycheck. The fact that these nebulous qualities are about as concrete as any indication to the direction or even content of the script by these Powers That Be doesn’t help. Add gun-shyness into the mix.

Here is likely the worst part of the equation: anything else I write at this point is at the cost of time spent on the script that is giving me problems now; any time devoted to anything else, the Calvinist angel on one shoulder proclaims, is delaying payday, and that’s bad, it’s so very bad.

Yes, to be frank, I don’t give a rat’s ass about this project outside the money. If I can get to the point where there is anything of me in the writing, that will change, but right now, that magical property of involvement is locked up in a very real and very impenetrable fortress. And writing anything else feels like stealing from myself.

That’s some catch, that Catch 22. And the proper response, as you know, is “It’s the best one we got.”


  1. Wow. Sorry Doc. I believe in you though. You just need some inspiration. Hmmm. I’m envisioning a comedy. Something very, very 80’s. Probably starring Corey Haim. Something more like <>License to Drive<> than <>Ferris Bueller<>…

  2. I already wrote about Writer’s Block on my own Glen of Gloom, and I <>don’t have any good advice.<>Writer’s Block is when every word is the wrong choice.

  3. Maybe it’s a situation of “You can’t get there from here.” Or from what you’re saying, “I don’t know where I’m trying to go.”So here. I’m giving you permission: Ditch that first line. Scrub it. Vow never to use it. Find some other story which emphatically does NOT involve that line. Choose a juicy scene out of the middle, where the conflict is getting thick, and write that scene. This is a practice run; make sure that the little editor inside your head knows that this is just a screen test. It’s a warm-up lap.Then write that throwaway, prime-the-pump scene. If it helps, write it by hand on a yellow legal pad while sitting in a public library. That way your subconscious will know it’s not for real; it’s a holodeck practice run.Then decide if that’s where you want the story to get to. Heck, if you have to, write the scene that comes BEFORE that, and then the scene that comes BEFORE that. Whatever you have to do so that, when you have to come back and write that first line, it’s no biggie because you already know exactly where things go from there.

  4. Have you thought about the hilarious implications of someone mixing up “playing hooky” with “playing hooker”?I’m just saying.

  5. Ahhh, the numbing agony of Writer’s Block. I’d offer advice, but you know better than I do how you write. A lot of people say, “Just writing anything,” but that never works for me, because when I’m well and truly blocked, most any writing makes me sick to my stomach. It sometimes helps me to shock my system by writing in a different place or medium. Best wishes, Doc. I’m in a crummy place now, writing-wise, as I seem to lost what little direction I once had- but I wouldn’t trade where I am for writer’s block, no thank you.

  6. Write it like SLIDING DOORS–do both stories at once, cutting between little Johnny on Earth-1 and on Earth-2. Just make sure one of ’em wears a green hoodie and the other wears red or grey so the viewer knows which one they’re watching at any given time. Sort of like how one of the Gwyneths was kind enough to get her hair colored differently in the movie.

  7. Imeem Joins The Social Networking SceneImeem Joins The Social Networking Scene : The social networking space is beginning to resemble a “how many people can fit in a Volkswagon Beetle?” contest.< HREF="" REL="nofollow">cheap treadmill<> is … well, let’s just say that cheap treadmill is interesting.

  8. Interesting ā€¦.. I’m definitely going to bookmark you!< HREF="" REL="nofollow">credit home line<> site. Covers credit home line related stuff.Check it out if you have the time šŸ™‚

  9. This is long after the fact, but hopefully still helpful:

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.