writers focus. . . being in the zone



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  • writers focus. . . being in the zone

    What is it?

    How often are you in it?

    Do you have any idea what it means?

    For about a week i've been feeling good about my new script. The characters are finally living, and the shell, the first draft, has evolved into LIFE, the story is breathing.

    As if I HAD become my characters. This feeling happened to me about a year ago, it's like seeing the seams on a baseball, or seeing through a peephole, the distorted clarity, if only for a moment.

    Stuff like this happen to you people?


  • #2

    I'll mull the story over in my head for weeks (months?), then finally sit down one night (must be after midnight) and pour about 30-40 pages out in the next 3 or 4 hours. Notecards? Can't function that way. I go back later and cut out the inevitable drivel, but...you know what? I can tell right now that I am currently NOT in the Zone, because I'm starting to ramble. Mmmm, Salma Hayek...

    Your pal,


    • #3
      Off and on, Hang...when it rains it pours...from both sides.

      As a pool player I've had the fortune of finding myself in "dead stroke" (pool's equivalent of "the zone") a few times and I've recognized that zen-like quality in some of my writing sessions as well...it's much the same feeling, though on quite a different level. I welcome it whenever it visits...


      • #4
        Hm. Well, I get in the Zone with poetry, I'm getting more in the Zone with my fiction... and I'm waiting to get kicked in the butt by the Zone with screenwriting. :\ But yes... definitely been in that Zone more than once, when all the words are singing in you and your creations are doing exactly what they should be and isnt that story just whipping right out? Great feeling, eh?


        • #5
          Writer's focus...being in the zone.

          What is it? It's when you've finally formed a bond with the characters you've created, and they come to life in your everyday existence. It's when the "real" you becomes blinded by those make-believe characters, and you soon come to realize that sometimes your actions aren't based on your inner thoughts anymore but the characters in which you've created spill-over into your realizm. (Example: I was having trouble writing a scene (the wording) where two people are whispering. So, I went to the library, grabbed a book, and started reading. And, as I was reading, I looked over and saw two people whispering--that's when my characters came to life inside me because I started assuming that I could hear what they were saying (but I couldn't), gauging by their facial expressions. At any rate, that's when my created characters came to life and started speaking to me--needless to say, I finished that blasted scene! That's when you know you're IN IT. And, I'm not "in the zone" everyday, but whenever the feeling takes over, it's a few times a day because some "thing" or some "person" or some "place" will spur that character activity and give me the material that I need to write that day. What's it mean? Get to your computer fast!


          • #6
            Re: Writer's focus...being in the zone.

            Cornell, you complete me.

            Everybody has two sides, make them both, 'exactly similar'

            hang em'


            • #7
              Writer's focus...

              Complete you? Hmmmmn...is this a compliment? Thank you--I think. If it's a hidden sarcastic remark that went flying over my head (and that can happen), well, I'm not sharing the brie and wine with you sweetness, you'll just have to drink melted snow and eat roots and berries in the boonies in Vermont! And, I just might, just might turn the soft music up loud enough for you to hear.


              • #8
                Re: Writer's focus...

                I was using a cheesy line, to hide the fact that you are
                sexy in that, I can't see you way.

                how bout' them apples.


                • #9
                  Own the Zone (reg. TM)...

                  When the characters/dialogue/plot is running through my head so fast that I feel like a courtroom-stenographer playing catch-up, I'm in the Zone.

                  When I start to write a scene and one of the characters involved raises a polite hand, or belches loudly, or pulls out a lock-blade to clean their fingernails and says...

                  "Uhh, sorry, but I'd never say/do that...", I'm zoning wildly.

                  When I'm laughing so hard at what they're saying/doing that I can't write fast enough (and need to pull out a dictaphone to catch it all), I OWN the Zone.

                  Which does not mean the actual finished work is worth the price of an ink-cartidge, but that's how I feel.

                  More-so after I edit, and "that feeling" is still there. The one where my looking at a completed scene is not so much perusing a piece of work, but gazing at a photo album of those folks you've known all too well, even if only via the process of "birthing" them.

                  So, when they "read" so "real" that you feel like you just stepped into your fave local tavern or got stuck at the X-Mass dinner from hell, you've "zoned-out". And deserve a cookie in your jar.

                  Best, kosk


                  • #10
                    Writer's focus...

                    Why thank you, hang 'em. Now, where are those apples I bought today....


                    • #11
                      Kosk - tell

                      CORNELL: The granny smiths, in the corner, next to the triscuits.

                      Kosk,your posts are always packed with stuf.

                      I feel like Matt Damon in GOOD WILL HUNTING, when he exposes that Harvard kid, in the South Bar.

                      I have become a knowledgeable guy just by 'regurjating' (sp) your stuff, random quotes and anecdotes are deadly, if placed at the proper time in a boring conversation.

                      Anyway, if you ever did get through the stuff I sent ya, feel free to give a public shout out on it's quality, or lack of it. I am prepared for the worst.

                      You to Ptrano - -


                      • #12
                        Re: Kosk - tell

                        The "worst" is not what you need to be prepared for. I've been well-thought-of by people similar to you before; it's the way of things when travelling in my circles.

                        What you need to prepare for is receiving the difference between compliment and flattery, which most writers (despite protestations) rarely understand, or can emotionally accept, or deal with, with (my definition) good grace. The world has p!ssed on writers since the Elizabethan Era; whether anyone slams me for the following or not, I'll say it anyway:

                        Writers can take a broken septum easier than they can take a true compliment, because they're always wating for the String holding the Sword of Damocles to break. And guess who's neck is under that sword? Yours, mine and most folks here.

                        You have a head-shrinker in your clan. You probably know what the clinical term "Hyper-Alert" means. If not, you can ask that relative, and they'll tell you.

                        Due to the nature of the business, all writers are (on some level) hyper-alert. Don't believe me? Check out the DSM V.

                        So. I'm willing to re-read what you sent me. And comment on it. If you promise that if Steeves (or anyone else on this board who's read what you sent me) has a different or opposite opinion, you will let it slide. Meaning not reply/post to that opinion at all. Give them their say and be done with it, just like you would with Ebert if your story had been produced and released. Under that criterion, I'm willing to expound on my opinion of your work, ASSUMING that is "cool" with the moderator.

                        I'm not being "p!ssy"; just tryin' ta keep the peace.

                        Best, kosk


                        • #13
                          Re: Kosk - tell

                          Kosk, if someone doesn't like my work, what am I going to do, yell at them with my words? If they feel that the script is ('whatever') then they can make there comments at will.

                          A bigger fool, (rides) or gets on people who have an opinion that might not be flattering.

                          As I've said lifes not a pillowy cloud of jellybeans and marshmallows.

                          I can see what is good advice or what is bad advice. My only objective is still sell my scripts, that's all.

                          I have my own assesments of the work. It can always get better. And if they think it sucks, who cares, i'm still waking up in the morning, Kosk, as full of myself as before.



                          • #14
                            Re: Kosk - tell

                            Well, that's good, since if you don't hold on to that "full of yourself" part, things will "slow down". And you know exactly what I mean; it's about the confidence that the buyers/consumers perceive.

                            Funny how Glengarry Glen Ross could be seen as a metaphor for the writing-game, hm?

                            Anyway, I'm gonna get my vocal-chords ready for something necessary to my toon, and look over the stuff you sent me again. It'll be a while before I get back "here" (I don't do things "off the cuff" with other folks art or writing). Do something fun; I'll be back later.

                            Best, kosk


                            • #15

                              Excuse me, just want to butt in for a moment....

                              Granny Smith Apples--found them hang 'em. A little tart...a little sweet, I like 'em like that.

                              Now, you guys may resume your friendly, a, er, whatever. :rollin