I've been writing TV screen plays for almost a year now. Mind you, the caliber in which I write follows no real pattern or standard as most TV should, but I write nonetheless.
In my experience, comedy is much easier to write than drama. I've had my hand in both at this point (Jeff & Mike/Randomish--comedy--and mat42dr--drama) and it could be my inability to really develop plot and characters and kind of just hope things come together in a story, but drama is tough.
Lately, writing mat42dr has gotten tough. I've been trying to immerse myself in drama from TV lately (namely the British show, Skins) and I'd like to think it's helping, but who knows.
I feel like the thing I've been struggling against recently is making the story realistic, and this may be my issue. TV isn't supposed to be realistic. But then again, the plot I'm currently working on has some themes in it that are tough for me to write for some reason--it could be my attachments to the characters in the story. And on top of that, I feel like I'm not consistent with the way I present some of the characters.
There is a lot of worry in my creative process.
You see, when the idea for this series popped into my head, I had a simple idea: 12 episodes (8-10 pages/minutes each), 1 main story, 5 characters, a few laughs, and a happy ending. Now... well, now I'm not sure. We still have 5 characters, but a lot has changed. More laughs, more twists, more drama, more episodes (probably), more complexity, but all under that 8-10 minute veil. Believe me when I say, writing plot that fits in 10 minutes can be tough, especially when it comes to me and my mentality of "I need to make sure every detail lies correctly in the story and seems plausible."
But the issue I'm having here is the kind of challenge I wanted with this show. I knew this would get tough. I'm currently on episode 9 of the show and things are tough, as should be expected because as stories progress, things get more complex. And I guess this is an issue all writers probably face at one point. I feel like I'm balancing two or three story lines at one time here and it's overwhelming sometimes. Or maybe I'm just seeing the hundreds of ways this story could go because, unlike Jeff & Mike, the characters in mat42dr are human beings with feelings and overactive minds and emotions who live in the real world. What it comes down to in that sense, though, is that writing real life is seriously hard. It's just plain complicated--both life and writing it.
Strangely though, I think that may be my favorite part about writing this show. For the first time, I'm writing about human beings. I'm trying to describe five different people: their emotions, their beliefs, and their actions all at once. In all honesty, I don't think I've ever really felt like this about characters before while writing. I've never been so stuck on how a character would react or think or feel about something before like I have been for this show.
I don't know if I have a whole point to this rant or whatever, but I can surely say that I am trying my damn hardest with this new show, and don't even get me started on directing. Worrying about where things will be filmed, how they'll be shot, how to light the scene, how to shoot the dialog and the intro... the list goes on with worry. Like I said, there is a lot of worry in my creative process. Nevertheless, I'm sure that this new show will be the best of anything I've done. We have a kick ass cast, an editor I trust wholeheartedly, and manning the helms is my lovely girlfriend, Katherine, at producer and art director.
We'll see how this all goes next Fall when we start shooting. I plan on having at least 12 episodes written by then, with 100% finalizations done on episodes 1-6.
Here's to summer being super inspiring! </sarcasm>
Oh, did I mention I'm a computer science major at Grand Valley? Right...