22 June 2012

Why I create stories

As a freelance writer, I have worked on some very...interesting projects. I proofread and formatted a self-help e-book, I wrote articles about mixed martial clothing, and I've created lesson plans for novels.

This is the first time I've written a screenplay for a client.

Someone (we'll call him Nathan Lane*) contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing a screenplay. We both gathered a little basic information from each other (Me: What's the project? Him: What are your credentials? Me: Are you just a creeper?), then met for an initial meeting. He told me about the project and the work he does (which ties into the project), and I told him about my freelance experience. We talked legal details, and after the meeting, I was excited about the prospect of working on this project with him.

Setting aside the fact that this project is awesome because it's a screenplay, the specific story that's being told (as well as the broader scope of the subject of the film) is something that's important. This story, and many more like it, need to be told. So part of my excitement about working on the film is the prospect of getting to be a part of telling this story.

Okay. Getting back to the technical writing-y stuff.

I am somewhat familiar with screenplay-type stuff. I took a screenwriting class in college, and still have the texts used for it. ScriptFrenzy's site also has good resources. So I figured it would be best for me to sort of brush up on screenplay formatting in preparation for this project.

So as I leafed through my book, reminding myself of how to structure this story within the framework of putting it on film, I had a sort of mini-revelation. It wasn't an epiphany because it's something I know in my heart, but it was significant enough that it led me to stop leafing and write a blog post about it.

By trade, I am currently a freelance writer.† The vast majority of what I create for work is non-fiction. I do articles, blog posts, press releases, educational materials.... but at the end of the day, my heart is in crafting stories.

That's not to say I don't like freelancing. I really love it, actually. But if I had to choose between freelancing or fiction, I'd choose fiction.

I think this project with N.L. (see how I shortened it?) is going to be good for me. It'll flex my creative muscles a little more, and I'll have the opportunity to work in a more creative circle for a while. Yes, I can do that by working on the coffee house book, but this will be different. Maybe it'll help tighten up some dialogue in my other creative ventures.

Usually I like to sort of conclude my blog posts by trying to bring it full circle, or adding a sweet little conclusion, but since this post arose out of a spontaneous thought, I'm not sure how to wrap it up. So I'll just say..... happy writing.

Good enough.

*This man is the film's producer, so his code name is Nathan Lane who, of course, was in The Producers. I'm very creative, you know.

† I say "currently" because while I do make my living as a freelance writer, I know that if the write opportunity presented itself in a more traditional job, I would take it.

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