30 Days With Aristotle And Me

The Famous Greek Philosopher Helps Me Finish My Screenplay…In One Month?

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Day Four – Writing

November 13th, 2009 · Chopin, Day Four - Writing, Dick Van Dyke Show

Rubinstein's Chopin Spent the bulk of today listening to Chopin, editing Act I (which I wrote a few months ago and really love…and love to tinker with to make even better), and forging ahead into Act II.

I’m on target to meet my goal of five pages today.

However, I wasted a lot of time e-mailing and blogging elsewhere. It’s easy to do.

That reminds me of an episode of the classic Dick Van Dyke Show. It’s the last episode of Season Four (air date April 2, 1965) titled “A Farewell to Writing.”

Dick Van Dyke Show Season Four

For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Dick Van Dyke Show (shame on you!) it was, in my opinion, the finest sitcom ever written, the perfect TV show about the writers of a TV show. It starred Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore (who started a fashion trend with those really cute Capri pants of hers…and who can forget her whiny catchphrase, “Oh, Rob!!!!!” ), Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Carl Reiner, and Richard Deacon. The level of talent was jaw dropping. The cast could sing and dance and tell jokes and entertain like nobody’s business.

Anyway, the episode “A Farewell to Writing” is about Dick wanting to write [Read more →]

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Day Three – Writing

November 12th, 2009 · Day Three - Writing, Marillion

Marillion Script For a Jester's Tear “So here I am once more” are the words that open Marillion’s classic 1983 album Script For a Jester’s Tear.

Likewise, here I am, once more, sitting at Panera Bread. My laptop is in front of me. I’m back to writing Act II.

I love writing screenplays. They’re the perfect marriage of brevity and bombast. A Hemingway-like use of words that creates a spectacle for the eyes and ears, projected onto a screen the size of the broad side of a barn.

So, while I listen, I write.

Once more.

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Day Two – Schedule

November 11th, 2009 · 30-Day Screenwriting Schedule, Adaptation, Camel, Children's Books, Chopin, Day Two - Schedule, Half Light Soundtrack, Hemingway, Music, Progressive Rock, Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

The War of ArtYou know what the hardest part is about writing screenplays?

It’s not getting ideas, which come to me so often that my To-Write list now stretches well into the next decade.

It’s not learning the craft of screenwriting, which I’ll admit took me 3-4 years, hundreds of dollars in screenwriting books – and an equal amount of hours reading – to grasp.

It’s not even plotting them, writing each major scene on a 3×5 card and tacking them up on big boards, keeping them within eyesight at all times. Or developing characters.

Nope. That’s not the answer. Frankly, I find all of those things fun.

You really want to know what I find hardest about writing screenplays?

Writing them.

Seriously. Actually sitting down to write them.

I hate that part.

I know the adage: Writer’s write. I get that. I really do.

But that doesn’t make sitting down, alone, for hours on end, day after day, any easier.

One of the best books I’ve ever come across that explains my reluctance to sit and write is [Read more →]

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Day One – Set Up

November 10th, 2009 · Day One - Set Up

AristotleToday starts a whirlwind race-to-the-finish to complete a screenplay within 30 days.

Okay, so it’s not a screenplay I started today and will finish in a month. It’s a screenplay that I started a while ago and intend to finish within a month – by December 9, 2009.

This web site will be a record of my progress, not only as I study Aristotle’s Poetics (and apply it to my screenplay) but also as I write, rewrite, and rewrite again.

I spent today setting up this web site and planning my month of intense screenwriting.

Tomorrow, I begin writing.

If I am not done within the allotted time, may the ghost of Aristotle visit me in the night and wag a bony finger in my face.

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