Happy Friday! Happy spring!
Although I’m not packing away my winter clothes, I’m feeling more optimistic about the possibility of spring.
Word of the Day Practice Session.
At Thursday’s Word of the Day Practice, we created a Word of the Day cluster around the word “spring.” For two minutes, we free-associated around the central word, then shared the results.
One writer connected to a phrase from the poem “April is the cruelest month” from T.S. Eliot’s immortal poem, The Wasteland. This association led her back to a memory of going on a field trip and having a crush on her first boy. She’s been having trouble figuring out a way to connect the love interest characters in her current screenplay. I asked her, “What would happen if you met your old crush again after many years and you fell in love?”
She had a moment of clarity when she realized that she could use this memory as a template: Have her characters meet in childhood and reconnect later in life with a shared history. This solved a big story problem for her.
Debra’s Word of the Day Poem
Earlier in the week, Debra, a WOTD Club regular, created this beautiful poem when she worked on her Word of the Day cluster. Her word was “Possession.” She gave me permission to share it here:
Who owns the sky?
Are the stars mine if I see them?
Does love belong to me?
My memories are my own, and
even unrequited love has a place in my heart.
We can’t possess each other,
but the return of love is a key.
Love is not owned,
it belongs with me,
Love is strong and real,
not an object.
True love is an unpossessed bond that endures,
a memory that is purely delicious
Love is mine as completely as the fragrance of roses,
-Debra R. Hanna, March 22, 2023 [Word of the Day inspirations]
Sara McDermott Jain
Thursday evening, I was a guest on Sara’s weekly zoom meeting for her writers who are adapting books into screenplays. She interviewed me, and here are some of my suggestions
1. You are translating your book into another language. The use of words is very different, as a book is about words, and a screenplay is about using words to describe the pictures that will be seen on screen. Understanding this can save much heartache.
2. A screenplay is linear, so when adapting a novel, you may have to simplify the number of subplots and focus more on keeping the story moving.
3. You can’t use a character’s inner thoughts in a screenplay unless you use a voiceover. This can be limiting but also forces you to get your characters to be more active.
We covered much more in the interview, which will be available on Sarah’s website.
She’s a great coach, and I recommend that you check out her classes! She will hold her next writer’s summit on May 4, 2023.
I’m very excited about the upcoming Word of the Day webinar on March 29. We will be talking more about story creation. Please join me.
Here’s to your writing success,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz