Entries in screenwriting (2)


Love in Letters (and etch-a-sketch)

The fresnels and chimeras mentioned in my new year's post must have done their job, because the raw footage of my screenplay's real life heroine looks great, and I'm moved by her love story all over again. Producer genius to have her read those wartime love letters out loud. You can almost imagine what it was like when she first received them seventy years ago. 

Her love calls her "the girl of my past and the woman of my future."  He'll wait for her, no matter what happens or how long it takes.  Before any wedding, he calls her his wife, his life, and quite simply- everything. The black ink runs across each page with insistence, her fingers holding the words steady.

My love story is not quite five years old, less time than the war that kept these two apart.  It may be only one of many means of communication these days, but writing to someone who lives in your house still feels essential.  Handwritten, they somehow say so much more and do seem worth saving for the better part of a century. And if they're composed on etch-a-sketch, like the love note Joe made for for our little valentine this morning, I guess I'll just have to take a picture.  


This is Caillou, surrounded with hearts. If you don't know who he is, don't google him.  I'd like to save you from the theme song that's been stuck in my head for the last three months. He might as well be the Romeo to our 1 1/2 year old Juliet, and we've been urging their separation.  Are we cruel?  She's even said, "I love you, Caillou."  So we sing his song and draw his picture in hopes that she won't have to actually watch him. 

Here's to the more feasible love stories, the ones that are worth fighting (and writing) for.

Happy Valentine's Day



"I still think you need to put it all up on a board."  Joe's response to my constant questioning about the third draft of my screenplay.

"I just want to know if you think it should be told in chronological flashbacks or if it should be nonlinear."

"Get some notecards, and..."

"I know."

I already put the script on notecards when I first started writing it two years ago, and I have a notecard feature on my scriptwriting software-- that I never use.   I think the notecards are in a file somewhere and wouldn't even apply to the current draft.  We both know I don't have a corkboard.  I've been reading Save the Cat for reminders on structure and he has a whole chapter on "the board."  Did my husband sneak a peek at this book while I was sleeping?

So, yesterday, I passed all the women in their incredible hats coming out of Church of the Nazarene and went into Office Depot with baby in a sling on my hip.   This way I could use both hands to inspect each board.  Do you have any idea how expensive corkboards are?  I've only seen cork trees in Sardinia.  Is that why?

I settled on a board made out of seagrass (it smells like vacation!) and pushpins that look like glass triangles.  Then I got really innovative and bought half-sized notecards so that I will be forced to get this sweeping epic down to its essence.

And I'm off.  It's all unwrapped and in front of me, and I have 45 minutes before a meeting (unless my little accomplice wakes up).  Just wanted to set my intention here.