No, really, I should.
After watching Disney’s Frozen for the second time today and last week’s musing upon the magic of stories and songs, I’ve decided to write a full-length musical as part of my goals for 2014. One, of course, that’s full of hope, wonder, and inspiration, centering around the theme of the enduring power of love.
Then again, that’s only on the drawing board. Come March 2014, the whole thing might have devolved into a sinister fairy tale that’s full of darkness and bloodshed. But aim for the stars – that’s what they say, right?
That said, it must be acknowledged that I haven’t had much success with productions any longer than 30 minutes in length. My first attempt at a full-length script was earlier this year, a little something titled Controversy, which I sent to the Ministry of Art as part of my application for a grant. Part of the requirement of the grant was that I either had to give them a detailed synopsis of the story, or I had to show them at least a significant portion of the script. Opting to do the latter, I proceeded to write Act I of the story (which was planned as a 3-Act play), an effort which resulted in 30 pages of wall-to-wall dialogue.
(I had a reading of the 30-page script done with 3 actors; and to this day, I feel terrible for having put them through the ordeal)
The news of my grant application’s rejection came with no surprise but much disappointment. Having read the thing again, though, I realized that the whole thing looked generally sloppy, self-absorbed, and altogether uninteresting and uninspired. Without having to embarrass myself by putting the actual script up here, I’ll just explain how the script was bad by borrowing the words of America’s greatest living playwright, Mr. Mamet:
HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.
(caps all his; because when you are America’s greatest living playwright, you can all caps all you want, and no one can say a single thing about it)
So in essence, the 30 pages that I sent to the Ministry of Art were 30 pages full of of shit.
It was a good wake-up call, though. For starters, I was forced to come face-to-face with the reality that I wasn’t as gifted a writer as I thought I was; and the other important lesson, which I have struggled all my life to hammer into my head, was that nothing of quality ever comes out rushed.
Thus began my journey to understand the craft of writing proper. Almost a year older now, I hope that I’ve become a little wiser and a lot less arrogant about my abilities; and more importantly, that I’ve learned enough through my readings and applications to at least come up with at least a decent story for next year’s application.
I’m bringing out my toolkit and starting up my brain, after having left it to cool following NaNoWriMo November. Best case scenario: I actually write something magical that I can be proud of. Worst case scenario: I learn some more.
Either way, I win.