Hating your own scenes.

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  • Hating your own scenes.

    I find myself at times in utter contempt at writing certain scenes in my stories. It's not that the scenes or the dialogue aren't integral to moving the script along. It's just that sometimes I find writing them to be such a chore I have to power through them to get to the other side. Sometimes it's so bad it comes close to inducing blockage. Does this happen to anyone else or do I have brain damage of some sort?
    We gain our innocence by taking yours.

  • #2
    Re: Hating your own scenes.

    What genre are you doing?

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    • #3
      Re: Hating your own scenes.

      All kinds. This one is a paranormal romance/drama. It happens on all of them.
      We gain our innocence by taking yours.

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      • #4
        Re: Hating your own scenes.

        How much prep work do you do? Do you outline extensively or just jump in?
        Chicks Who Script podcast

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        • #5
          Re: Hating your own scenes.

          This one was outlined in 25 pages. Most of the time, I wade right in after I do a "mental treatment".
          We gain our innocence by taking yours.

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          • #6
            Re: Hating your own scenes.

            Why do you hate writing the scene?
            Chicks Who Script podcast

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            • #7
              Re: Hating your own scenes.

              I think powering through is the only real way to get to the end of the scene, sometimes. Look at as a placeholder, one you can go back and tweak/edit once you finish.

              I've got a scene in the one I'm working on now: car chase.

              YAWN.

              So it sat there for a long time til I could figure out a way to make the scene more than just "car chase".

              It happens.

              HH

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              • #8
                Re: Hating your own scenes.

                Bored? Yes perhaps. It's more like apathy. Sometimes in real life i find myself listening to someone drone and although I know what they are saying is important to them, I disconnect momentarily. Maybe it's because I just want people to get to the point instead of listening to back-story. I know it's just me being me for better or worse. I think maybe I want my characters to behave the same way and I find that writing their drivel irritates me.

                And then I think I'm having a mental breakdown because the people aren't even real except in my mind so I'm arguing with myself about doing something I don't want to do.

                Maybe I need to get out more.
                We gain our innocence by taking yours.

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                • #9
                  Re: Hating your own scenes.

                  Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
                  This one was outlined in 25 pages. Most of the time, I wade right in after I do a "mental treatment".
                  I think it's normal to have to push yourself through some of what you need to write. For me, it's rewrites that I never want to do.

                  But, are you saying your outline is 25 pages long? That, to me, means you might have a problem of over-outlining. Look at it this way, you've got about 1 page of outline for roughly every 4 pages of script. That sounds like way too much prep work.

                  I think an outline should be thread bare (with the exception of a cool exchange or other important thing you don't want to forget to include).

                  I'm of the mind that your outline should be along the lines of:

                  1. Guy discusses divorce with Wife in bed in the morning
                  2. Guy goes to work
                  3. Guy gets fired
                  .....some cool dialogue here

                  4. Guy sets his building on fire
                  5. Guy gets arrested

                  and so on.

                  I think if you are outlining in much more detail than that, you are running the risk of boring yourself when you start writing because you've already kind of told this story once before (in your outline). Writing a script will always be a slog at some point. Don't use up all the fun and spontaneous parts of it on your outline, save some for when you are actually writing the script.
                  On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hating your own scenes.

                    You know it's funny. The ones where I don't outline at all flow the smoothest. I've got one in the number 3 slot at Zoetrope (shameless plug but I don't care) that I wrote in three weeks. Only stumbled once. Granted I really don't like it that much, but everyone who's read it liked it. I usually only outline the ones that are complicated. But maybe that does take some fun out of it.
                    We gain our innocence by taking yours.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hating your own scenes.

                      My solution is stepping away from the computer/laptop/notebook/whatever.

                      I can start out a day of writing with a lotta momentum and excitement, but as with anything... that excitement wains.

                      If I find myself no longer excited about the next scene, I step away and get some lunch or watch a show I've DVR'd or go to the gym or the mall or mow the lawn or something.

                      The reason I don't just "power through" the scene is because I've found that 9/10 times that powered-through scene will be deleted the next day.

                      "If you're gonna do something, do it well." I think that's a great motto for screenwriting. If you're gonna write the scene, do it well. Don't halfass it or slog through it. Take a step away and come back to the table with some more energy and excitement for writing.

                      ETA: Of course... there are far better writers than me that just slog through it and keep whatever works, even if it's one line of dialogue.

                      To each his own.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hating your own scenes.

                        Fwiw I can relate to the 'drivel.' I don't think anything needs to feel labored. If you feel like it's 'one of those scenes' that you need to 'get there,' see how you turn it on its head and mess with everyone else's expectations.

                        Or, maybe you can chop it into a half-page image and get there quicker (if that's how it feels to you). If you were watching that scene in a movie, what would happen for it to totally blow you away?
                        https://actbreakdown.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hating your own scenes.

                          Why are you bored with the scene? Are your characters saying boring stuff? If they're boring, we'll be bored too. What can you have them do that is more interesting? If it's just an entire scene of exposition and somebody's laying it out in a living room while sipping tea, well yeah, no wonder you're bored. Try having them yank the exposition out. They don't want to say this stuff but they're forced to. Or they have to be cryptic so the wrong person doesn't hear it. Or they're in a cool location, distracted by stuff around them. What else can be happening in your scene besides people doling out information? Challenge yourself and it won't be boring.
                          Chicks Who Script podcast

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hating your own scenes.

                            Emily's post is correct.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hating your own scenes.

                              "Challenge yourself and it won't be boring."

                              Thank you.
                              We gain our innocence by taking yours.

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