…this must be Screenwriting. The rewrite class meets in the same fashion as the write class, a three-hour night deal, thankfully not on KWF seminar nights.
The big revelation, when you study screenwriting, is how formulaic it is — three-act structure, turning points here here and here — and yet there’s always room to make it fresh. It’s like making a dress. You need a hole to stick your head through, two more for your arms and it has to be open at the bottom, but beyond that, it’s up to you. Make a simple black sheath, make a ball gown, make some old thing out of potato sacks (this is the category my own work falls into). They’re all dresses, but no one confuses one with another.
Sometimes I think I have no actual talent as a writer, only a highly developed ability to imitate others. So I enjoy this stuff, because all you have to do is follow the well-paved path: This happens, then something else happens, then something else happens and you wind it all up.
Remind me of this in another couple months, when I’m sweating blood over this damn thing.
Bad weather has settled in like a curse, although frankly, I don’t mind it. I’m out walking around every day and I don’t have to go to work — if winter went on for six months like this, I wouldn’t mind, as long as I didn’t have to go back to work until spring. But tonight we’re expecting an ice storm followed by a snowstorm, and the strong possibility of a snow day tomorrow, at least for Kate. We haven’t had a snow day yet, a miracle by Fort Wayne standards, when six flakes falling from the sky is cause for at least a two-hour delay. Safety, you know. Liability. And so on.
Speaking of liability and screenplays, Alan had a good idea for one the other day, after reading a down-low paragraph is a story about a plane crash in Lake Erie. The aircraft came down shortly after takeoff from Pelee Island (note that I didn’t say “plunged into the icy waters of Lake Erie,” perhaps proof that the journalese is falling from my prose style), one of the lake’s islands that supports a small year-round community.
Anyway, the paragraph quoted a local woman who heard the crash and immediately went into hysterics. I think this was on a Saturday, but she thought it was Sunday, when, according to island ritual, all the high-school students on the island fly to the mainland for a week of schooling. She thought, mistakenly, that in one crash the island had lost all its teen-agers.
“Now that would be a movie,” Alan said.
“Someone already made it. ‘The Sweet Hereafter,'” I informed him. I bet he’ll be happy when I give up my delusions of Hollywood.
Ice coming down! Followed by snow! Don’t fly anywhere! See you tomorrow!