Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Let the Games Begin

Today, slightly at odds with my better judgment, I made a pact with my friend Paul for each of us to finish an as yet un-begun screenplay by Halloween.

I couldn’t say no. The whole thing was actually my idea. I really didn’t think he’d go for it.

Now, if one of us doesn’t make the deadline (or any of three mini-deadlines, the first of which is a working outline by August 28), we owe the other a gift certificate to Amazon.com. The rationale is that getting an online gift certificate is just tedious enough to make it worth our while to have the work done on time.

While part of me (a big part, actually) wonders why on earth I would willingly put MORE to do on my plate, the writer in me understands.

Paul and I had been talking about our respective ideas for thrillers and / or horror flicks that would be fun to write and cheap to make. We’re both horrifically busy doing other people’s things. And I know that if I just let myself work on my scripts “when I have the time,” they’ll never get written. (It appears that the days when I had hours to myself to write and create to my heart’s content are long – long! – gone.)

So, I reasoned, if I could write a 50,000 word book for someone else in 2 months, I should be able to write a 100 page script for myself in that amount of time. We’ll see how realistic and reasonable that rationale is, as I juggle this into the rotation of actual “paying” work.

I’m challenging all serious writers who regularly read this blog to join in on our little quest. Make a pact with yourself to finish a “certain special something” that you’ve been wanting to get to for some time now. Have a working outline of it done by midnight, August 28 (the final project does NOT have to follow the outline exactly).

The other deadlines are as follows:
• At the end of week 5 (Sunday, September 18), the rough draft of the project must be 1/3 written (for screenplays – the first 30 pages).
• At the end of week 8 (Sunday, October 9), the first 2/3’s of the project should be done (for screenplays – up through page 60).
• On October 31 (Halloween night!), the full first draft is due.

Come up with appropriate penalties (like the afore-mentioned gift certificates) to keep yourself on target. The penalty for missing the final deadline should be a whammy – more than the other three combined.

Any takers?