Weekly Check In: Week 32 10 comments

bee on a yellow buttercup

1. Let us know how you fared with last week’s writing goals (whether you shared them with us here or not). If you’re feeling retrospective, recap the writing year so far for us, too.

2. Share your goals for the new week.

3. Don’t forget to cheer for each other!

New to the weekly check in? Our first check in of the year includes tips on setting writing goals. But the most important thing to know is that everyone is welcome. If you’d like the moral support of discussing your writing progress with other writers, please join the comments and let us know what you’re working on and how you’re doing.

10 thoughts on “Weekly Check In: Week 32

  • Mark Walker

    Hi everyone! Just read last week’s check-in to catch up and see how everyone is doing! I missed last week as I have been away (again) – well, not “away” away, just out and about with the kids and visiting family to see if they remembered it was my birthday (yes and no). Good to see people working hard on rewrites and research and to see Asmara pop in to say hi!

    Because of my travelling I haven’t been up to much writing, so am now in the process of getting back into that mindset. The puppets need a rewrite finishing (priority 1) then I am still trying to decide what to do with my comedy script. I’m getting closer to tearing it all down and restarting, but I will come to that once the puppets have been sorted (priority 2). And then I just have to avoid shiny object syndrome and start working on some other story ideas that are gurgling away in the back of my head.

    If only I didn’t have to work for a living (or at least at the job I currently have). Because of holidays and kids, I only worked 3 days in the last 3 weeks, and it was a blessed relief. Straight back into the thick of it yesterday with hundreds of emails and the continuing saga of HR staff crises that could be leading to a tribunal – and I’m stuck in the middle… maybe there is some inspiration to be drawn from it all, I don’t know, but it sucks the fun right out of you!

    Anyway, enough moaning, apart from not really writing much I did get to go indoor sky-diving for my birthday so that was fun! And I also got permission to build a decking platform in the garden specifically for my telescope – the dark nights are coming back! Wa-hey! By the way, the Perseid meteor shower is in full swing this year again – keep an eye out in the evening, due north if you are in the Northern hemisphere – and they are peaking on 12-14 August – when there is a new moon, so you should get a good chance to see them.

    Oh, and I also got to see Inside Out at the weekend and would recommend it to everyone, more PIXAR magic that is just a delight to watch… go…now!

    Hope everyone is having a good week, is well and getting lots of work done!

  • Sue Morris

    Hi everyone! Resurfacing to say I’m still at it.

    A few days ago I sent off the latest draft of Second Glance to the producers following the second round of script revisions. They were mainly technical things to align the formatting with their preferred style, and some budget issues – such as, can we NOT set fire to the motel room? :-) So now I’m waiting for the next set of notes to come through.

    In the meantime I’m doing a bit more on my medieval epic, mainly stripping away the clunkiest exchanges of dialogue. I think a lot of it is there as scaffolding, and once the scene can support itself then the scaffolding can be cleared away.

    I finally got round to catching up on Scriptnotes podcast episode #190 where you can read the full script for This Is Working by KC Scott, and then hear John, Craig and Franklin Leonard discuss and give notes on it. I always find this sort of thing really educational and helpful to apply to my own work.

    The other night I noticed the film Legion was on TV. It’s an action/fantasy/horror starring Paul Bettany as a rebel angel, the kind of escapism that I enjoy and my partner mutters about being utter nonsense. I vaguely remembered reading the script for it ages ago so I decided to watch it while doing the ironing (multi-tasking). Afterwards I went back to check the script version I’d read (dated 10.31.07 and marked as the final draft) and as I’d thought, they changed the ending somewhat. It was pretty much word for word until that point. Now I can see from a commercial/business point of view why you might decide to tweak the ending, because when you’re selling it pretty much on your star (spoiler) you probably want him to make it to the final fight. And to try to set up the tweaked ending, they’d inserted a flashback scene earlier in the movie including lines of dialogue that were paid off at the climax. I don’t think it worked any better from the story’s point of view, but I could see why the decision had been made. It would be interesting to know when it was made, though. Maybe after test screenings?

    Mark – good luck with the rewriting and I absolutely sympathise about the day job. Living in hope of winning the lottery…


    • Mark Walker

      Thanks Sue! And to you! Just slowly getting my mojo back this week, but keep getting distracted…just started Game of Thrones in the evenings and then a late one last night watching the Meteor showers!

    • Shaula Evans Post author

      It’s good to get an update from you, Sue. You sound busy!

      > I think a lot of it is there as scaffolding, and once the scene can support itself then the scaffolding can be cleared away.

      I love this analogy: I often thinking of writing in terms of scaffolding, too.

  • Mary

    Good day! I am rewriting still. Almost there, which is a relief because I have to get this done before I go away for vacation :)
    I also started watching Call the Midwives, which I may become addicted to.
    I am going to get the rewrite done and hopefully work on some children’s lit prose
    happy writing!

    • Shaula Evans Post author

      I *adore* Call the Midwife. It’s so well done and it presents such refreshingly women-centered stories.

      I hope your rewriting has been going well.

  • Sabina Giado

    Yay, Mark, Sue and Mary!
    Sue – writing for producers, how awesome. Sigh. I’m more than a little jealous.
    Mary – I watched a little of the pilot of Call the Midwives. But then I stopped because I was pregnant at the time. :-) Might start up again as Halt and Catch Fire is over for the year (really good, in case anyone was wondering.)

    World-building continues this week. Finding a list of guidelines is much better at drawing out characters for me than questions. Going a lot deeper with regards to setting as well. It’s provocative to think of textures, smells, age of the building, etc. Makes the story world that much more real.

    Have a good writing week, everyone!

  • @NickFromHamburg

    I shouldn’t complain or moan. I really shouldn’t.


    Since I’ve shifted my priorities in July, allowing myself a short trip to meet a friend, then hosting another friend to stay for 2 1/2 weeks (plus lots of trips exploring past+present of the complex place called Germany), I have felt falling behind my writing goals and tasks. And rightly so.
    However, I don’t feel I’ve caught up with them, although I sort of have. But my mind hasn’t reached this line yet.

    The theatre play adaptation to a feature screenplay (draft 1+2) behind me (and draft 3 appearing before me threateningly on the horizon for September, without a clear concept what to change and how due to the director’s vague goals), I tried to concentrate on the most lucrative of all current jobs: the treatment for a feature comedy rewrite. At the moment I’m plotting, and have regular exchanges with the producer. I want to hand in a good and concise treatment at the end of August. It’s going to be a “page-5-rewrite” of another author’s screenplay based on an original idea by the producer. He wants to attach a certain director, which I like and wanted to work with for a while, and go into financing for production at the beginning of next year at the latest.
    IF my treatment excites all parties involved, which would lead to an assignment to pen 2 drafts until the end of the year. Yay!
    While struggling to get ahead in that assignment, I also needed to redraft a pitch outline for another production that wants to hand in my original idea for a supernatural women’s comedy to a TV network for a movie of the week. Actually another “Yay!” moment, but my mind was racing between the rewrite treatment, the aftermath and first succeeding steps for the theatre adaptation, and my friend visiting from another continent.
    I met up with that producer and handed in an amended pitch – feedback will follow soon. But that couldn’t help me focus, since another original idea of mine for a crime comedy I handed in to a competition in pring had been selected for a pitch in front of networks and producers in mid-September, so I got the privilege to work with a dramaturgist to hone and refine my idea – the process is ongoing. I know, I know: Another big “Yay!”.

    To be clear: I am happy and grateful my work is recognised, and I even have people who pay me waiting for my writing. Yay, yay, yay and yay once over!
    But being torn between 4 active projects (plus 2 currently being read by the powers that be), trying to have a life (inmidst all this I even managed to celebrate my birthday), and do the regular query/PR chores no writer should neglect, – all that in summer heat around 40 Centigrades (that’s almost 100F for the New-Worlders!) – my mind melted more and more every day.

    Even now, that the temperatures have dropped, I have a tough time willing myself to sit down and write. And when I do, I get done the bare necessities. Or so it feels.

    I know every day I DO get writing done is a day not wasted. But since I’ve quit my dayjob in January, writing is what I do. So lately I’ve been feeling increasingly guilty and crappy

    – about not pulling my weight
    – about not being grateful enough how everything’s panned out so far
    – about feeling I’m almost faking it
    – about not producing the best writing I could
    – about on the other hand not allowing myself to fall into that black hole of self-pity, having a real blue “woeful writer in self-doubt” day or two.

    Like a fox chasing a bunch (pack/herd/pride/flock?) of rabbits, I restlessly run after one hare, changing direction mid-dash to dart after another, and even when I have a cute bunny-wunny between the teeth, I let go, because another one hops by, demanding attention.
    Why can’t I just have one meal at a time? One bunny to break the neck between my fangs, and then devour with ravishing vigour and appetite, then rest with a full stomach?
    (rereading that paragraph, I also seem to have gathered some underlying aggression…)

    Even warm words from my peers are unlikely to help, because you’re gonna “Yay!” some more, I guess. Because there’s a lot to “Yay!” about. Which doesn’t change my current set of mind, gut and heart. Which leads increasingly to comfort-munching.

    We have this saying “Jammern auf hohem Niveau”, which translated means “Moaning on a high level”. And it does feel cruddy to do so.

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