I Was A Middle Aged Writer

August 31, 2009

Other Ways to Think?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielrdavis @ 3:10 pm

The other day, a discussion on Magical Words touched upon thought processes and that some people think in words and others think in pictures or scenes, visually. This blew my mind. Not only because I didn’t know that there were people who thought all in words, but that so many of the writers there thought almost exclusively in words. I also found, while discussing it with my wife, that she’s one who thinks more in words than visually, but she has a bit of the visual, which I’ll get into in a bit.

This threw me for a loop first because I wasn’t aware that other people thought almost exclusively in words. I couldn’t figure out just how that would work. Is a sunset just the word sunset or does a full color scene of a sunset appear? Evidently, in some cases, it’s just the word. The other reason why this threw me was because thinking visually is such an integral part of how I write that I couldn’t imagine any other method.

When I write, I see the scene play out, like a movie (or anime, in some cases) and I have to use my words to convey and describe just what I’m seeing. Now, I can see how this could make writing easier and I could see how it could make it harder. If you have a good grasp of words and how to use them to describe a scene it would be a simple matter of visualizing and then typing out what you see. However, if you didn’t have good skill in using words to describe a scene then a sunset is just a sunset, not an early evening awash in the golds and coppers of the setting sun. Night just beginning to encroach, mixing the hint of its violets and burgundies in a breath taking cascade of color. I couldn’t imagine not being able to do that.

My wife says it’s probably why I’m very good at description and writing combat, because I can actually see the action taking place and describe it. I never realized just how important thinking visually is for me. I’ve found that it’s even more important when I’m writing scripts because I can see the scene changes, the cuts, the breaks, the camera angle changes, etc. This helps greatly when writing movie scenes. Again, I couldn’t imagine trying to write a film script without being able to do that.

Now, my wife thinks predominantly in words, but has some visual thinking. If she concentrates she can think visually, but it’s more like in line drawings, black and white, like pencil drawings and her characters tend to look shadowy if she tries to visualize them. However, we also found through testing that if I say a noun, like a car or a bird, she’ll get a quick flash of the thing in question, but if it’s something else, like silence, she’ll think of just the word and meaning. For me, if I think of silence, I get being in a place that’s completely quiet, like a still field with no sound around me.

It was such an interesting thing to me that I had to look it up and found a decent Wiki Article that talked about the differences and I found that the mention that 2/3rds of the world thought visually, as was mentioned on Magical Words, was not completely correct. It seems the majority of the human race thinks in some combination of both, at about 45%. Less than 30% are strongly visual and only around 25% think only in words. Now, it also claims that of that 30%, an even smaller number are what they call “true picture thinkers” and I seriously think that’s what I am. I can’t ever remember a time when I’ve thought words over visual.

This can definitely result in some people not being able to learn certain concepts based on the teaching method of the teacher. Art class would be a pain in the butt for word thinkers, I would think, being unable to visualize what they want to do. However, as I told my wife, it could be a very good reason why I’m never ever satisfied with what I draw/paint/etc, because it never quite lives up to what I see in my head.

Now I find myself going around, asking family and friends how they think. It’s actually giving me a bit of insight into why they do certain things or why I can’t convey concepts at times. It’s an interesting subject.

So now I’m going to ask those of you who are reading, how do you think? Do you think visually, with words, or some combination of the two, and how, if at all, does it affect your life, career, etc?

D

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August 24, 2009

Rewrites Done, Novel Next

Filed under: writing — danielrdavis @ 1:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

Greetings,

The recent rewrites of the script that isn’t mine, but is are now finished.  I’ve not heard word on whether there are any more needed, but I do know there will likely be a third minor rewrite (called polishing), in the future.  I say “isn’t mine, but is” because when I was originally handed the script it was not much more than a 50 page outline with some good ideas, but some bad ones too.  It was an interesting premise, but was a skeleton in many regards.  In a couple months I’ve built a solid foundation around it and fleshed it out greatly with the things needed for good storytelling.  It’s definitely a quality piece of work now and I’m hoping others will feel the same.

On that note, I was told that the producers have a meeting with Paramount to pitch the film.  Should all go well we may see the script picked up by one of the big companies on the block.  The work is much more solid now and, fingers crossed, it’ll gain some attention in the mainstream market.  I’m especially hoping that the revisions I’ve been doing on it will get notice as well and perhaps push some interest my way.  It would be a great thing to have Paramount contact me asking if I want to work on a script for them.  A great thing indeed.  I want people saying, “where the heck did this writer come from and why haven’t we heard of him yet!”

Until I hear back from Shane I’m moving back to my novel, working to get the final words added into the first draft.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get it finished by the end of the week.  I’m guessing, barring snags, I’ll be able to send it out to my proofreaders by the weekend.  I think I have a good mix of proofers, some like SF, some like Romance, some like both.  It’ll be interesting to see what the feedback is like.  My sister in law loved the first 20 pages I gave her.

Speaking of, we heard a piece of news on the personal front that our sis in law is pregnant.  Awesome!  I’m sure my bro will make a great Dad.  Like me, he had a good teacher.  We wish them all the best of luck and I’ll likely be either the cool uncle or the crazy one.  The one that teaches the bad habits, makes monsters for movies and has all the cool toys hanging on walls.  I’m sure in a few years the kid will want to watch Uncle Dan and Aunt Jayne making monsters, just like our daughter does now.

And that’s it for the news of me for now.  Tune in next time where hopefully I’ll have good news on both the script and the novel.

D

August 7, 2009

And The Script Looms

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielrdavis @ 1:47 pm

Since I haven’t written an update on here in a while I figured it was about time I do so.  The novel had to take a minor backseat…well, it’s more like riding shotgun, but is reclined back and enjoying the ride with a little nap.

The script I didn’t have to work on I found myself having to not only work on, but get caught back up on schedule.  The people wanting to give the film a $6mil budget wanted some changes to the script, but I was told I didn’t need to worry about it, since I was going out of town when they wanted the rewrites started.  Cool.  So I went on my trip and didn’t worry about things…and that was my first mistake.

Then, I get back from our little trip to Indiana and Chicago and get asked if I think I can work on the script AND write at least 40 pages of rewrites in a half a week…  Seems the guys wanting to front the money for the film run a tight ship and were on a schedule where they wanted 25 pages revised per week and the person who was chosen for rewrites gave them seven.  Yep, seven pages.  I can sort of see why he gave them seven, seeing as he started rewriting the entire script from scratch when that wasn’t what was needed.  However, it lost him a job.

So, I donned my Writerman cape, the superhero cape that has the quill and inkpot insignia on the back, put my fists on my hips, struck a heroic pose and I got to work.  I didn’t take off my glasses like Clark Kent does because unlike him, I actually need them to see.  I burned through the changes and additions, even though I didn’t have a really good idea of what they wanted besides more action and gore and got them their 40 pages by the weekend…I’d started on Wednesday.  Of course, they loved them.  Supposedly some minor changes to be done later, but they liked the changes a lot.  That was only last weekend.

This week I not only got them the rest of the way caught up, but put them ahead of their schedule.  I’d say possibly another week and I’ll have the rest of the script retooled, which puts them ahead of schedule by about a week, which is enough time to get the third draft possibly done, depending on how complex their changes are and whether they give me a good idea as to what they want.

The script itself is coming out to be around 120 pages, which by script writing protocol comes out to be supposedly a 2 hour film.  It likely won’t be, since creative editing and minor cuts, and dissolves, line delivery speed, action sequence speed, etc, can go a long way to making a film a bit shorter.  It’ll still likely come down to being an hour and fifty minutes probably; a respectable length for a feature film, especially one of this caliper, which can easily find distribution and theater play, if it’s filmed well.  Fingers crossed.

I’ve been told that the writing credit may glean a decent sum of money as well, so that was the real deciding factor for picking the project back up and setting the novel aside for a time.  Still, I’m getting antsy to get back to the novel.  I was almost finished with the first draft.  Another seven thousand words, possibly and I would have been done.  I think I’m going to take a break from the script for a day, since it’s ahead of schedule and work on the novel a bit today.

One thing is certain though, I am a little nervous about the lack of solid numbers, as far as the pay goes.  I’d rather have a definite number on that instead of a possible number.  Call me paranoid, but I’ve been screwed over before working film and I quit working on a novel that has great potential to do the rewrites.  I’ve been told in the past that a beginning author could gain a contract of around $17k on a first novel, so setting it aside is a big decision and possibly detrimental.  So again, my fingers are crossed for a decent paycheck from this.  If it’s not much more than a few hundred bucks I’ll be pretty annoyed.  With luck I’ve impressed these guys and they’ll pay decent to keep me interested in working with them in the future.

And there you have it.  There’s the skinny on what I’ve been up to instead of finishing my novel.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it soon and get the thing published.  Stay tuned.

D

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