We all create diversions to escape ourselves. How far would you go to avoid the pain you have to inhabit to complete your story?
This is where I am at as I approach the third act of my feature script again. It’s where the shit hits the fan emotionally for the characters – and for you. Where you work out why you’re writing this thing that’s taking all your waking hours.
The first thirty pages are a sprint, an idyll, the lure that gets you thinking, ‘I know this baby, I can crack this story, I even know how it ends.’
The second act is harder, but the winding roads of plot and character revelation make it bearable, even though it stretches into infinity.
But the last act, the ending, the pay off for you and the audience is where you have to face the truth of what you are writing. And so we do anything not to go there. In our own lives as well as in the story.
Many pleasures can distract you from grief. But if grief drives your screenplay, then it is grief you must enter to find redemption. A story is a confession, an admission of weakness, a seeking of grace. The most common narrative structure is the redemption story because we all need and deserve forgiveness.
So in facing our demons and, with them, the truth in our work, we raise ourselves above them and the distractions we employ, to find our own happy ending.
Share your own thoughts here or find me on Twitter @emlin32 . Good luck and may honesty be your best friend as a writer.