Ode To Ad Lib

Been looking on trying to fare better at being productive as a writer, and the various techniques to employ. One of the things I like doing is being spontaneous, and not planning too far ahead. This sometimes flies in the face of my education/teachings where things need to be planned and worked out. Endings needs resolving via beat outlines (for screenplays and scrips), which is one method of developing the narrative into a coherent story. It didn’t hurt to learn this, and understand pats of screenplays.

It’s been taught, and I’ve read it in several other storytelling books. I will say this. You will need to know the spine for some stories. For example: A standard screenplay and a half-hour TV show has three acts.  An hour-long TV has four acts with act breaks (unless it’s a premium cable program-then no act breaks). I could go on. I consider these facts a “must” in order to develop a story. A beat outline takes each act and brakes the scenes down for the story so you have a guide in the direction you wish to pursue. Several of your ideas are resolved. This is not to say it can’t be rewritten-it will be rewritten.

Sometimes, however, I do feel a need to improvise a lot of things, and here’s why. There are times when I try to write, and I get a bit caught up in being artistic, and creative.  My own techniques fail me. I can write something, and get a little over-indulgent in descriptions. It leaves the material rather dense, and people stop reading, or get bogged down with too many details. It’s me trying to make sure everything is understood and has a purpose for the reader, which, as I said was too dense. Sometimes I don’t know how to free myself from that, and I get a little frustrated with myself for stripping the fun out of writing.

What I have noticed, over time, is I can ad lib with some interesting results. When creating for my family and friends, sometimes, I stop over thinking the process of writing. I put in a few details, let the characters talk, and the chips fall where they may.  The spine of the story is usually in my head, and I know where events lead. The end results typically yields a lot of laughter from my peeps. In turn I laugh when they’re happy. I see a potential to expand on my ad libbing. As I said, I love making people laugh, and if the stories do that, then I want to try a fresh method that gets my mind to write without cockblocking the humor, details, and flow of the story.

So, I learned the rules, then supplemented said rules with lots of reading, and learning the various styles of other screenwriters (and some prose writers as well). Now their in my psyche as I attempt to ad lib more, and think less. I wouldn’t call this Zen, but it helps me see potential in diverse methods, and I can’t beat the results. I should also add a lot of good ideas come from random thoughts, that most people would think no one would find interesting (sometimes I think that way). I’m being outside the box and scared of it. Better to be a tad scared, and work with the process.


More Short and Quick

Getting up has been a bit rough and somewhat annoying. I so need more sleep, but that can’t happen at the moment. Working on a short story that appears to be dialog driven. This is an exercise to break outta my comfort zone. It also serves to distract me from my other stories, which need resolving. It’s been a simple affair, this story. I jot down pieces of dialog, we’ll see what happens when I complete it.

Trying some gluten free turkey sausages. They aren’t bad.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Quick and Dirty

It’s another short post, but I love the idea of getting blog time into my busy day.  Did some writing yesterday. A few paragraphs while listing to music and having some lunch. Last night decided to watch a few episodes of Tron: Uprising. Not a bad animated series. I enjoyed myself, and would have watched more, but a Brother needs to sleep. Have a few ideas I want to type up, then have something to eat.

As always happy creative endeavors.

Get Myself Together Sunday

Today’s one of those days where I feel like I really need to get a lot of things done. I started with a distinct lack of enthusiasm for a lot of stuff, however, I’m not feeling meh, which is always a good thing. That meh feeling tends to coat everything, and make the day feel like crap. No, today will not be like that. Gotta keep the faith in myself, and in God that things will turn out better and stronger.

Yesterday I watched two movies that I need to add to this blog as reviews or essays. I’ve neglected that part of the blog waaaay too long. I saw Red and Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters. Yes an odd combo of films Red was hilarious and entertaining. I enjoyed myself. H&G was drop dead silly. I couldn’t take it serious, but I think that’s the purpose. It was funny, gory, and I shamelessly enjoyed it’s kooky vibe.

Today I need to go write something more concrete. Something to get me back on track with my writing vibe, which had this off/on spurt last week. I had a lot of different ideas I jotted down, or added to the Notes app. Today, perhaps, I can produce stories for these ideas as opposed to simply having raw ideas.  I need to see a story. Rewriting can come later.

Made twice baked potatoes yesterday. I made this one slightly better than before. Last time the taters were a little chunks, and I guess you can call them smashed potatoes. I used chunks of cheddar cheese (didn’t compare the prices, but I’m told shredded cheese costs more than an actual block, and some of the preservatives in shredded don’t do the body good.

I hope I stay buys like I did yesterday with my mind occupied. I did less writing yesterday than I intended, but maybe that’s the point of watching films, and cooking. I put my mind on other things. My mind “rested” a bit from writing, and I can look at things anew. If today is like yesterday, I’m thinking I’ll be fine.  Here’s to blessings, faith, and hope.

Happy creative endeavors.

Another Short Post

I am so sleepy, and I need to get myself awake. May have some green tea this morning and resolve that. I need to sleep late on my days off soon. Did do some writing. It’s all small scale, and perhaps that’s what it needs to be this week. At least it’s getting onto paper. I’m gonna loaf a little more then get something to eat. I have some fresh pineapple and watermelon. I need my strength.

My Pet Peeve

Was telling a friend today about how I was supposed to be writing out a plot for a treatment when all of a sudden I had this idea for a dark fantasy story. I wrote the dark fantasy down, since it was fresh in my head. I’m glad I did.  Now here’s something I thought about as I wrote my notes down. I want the main characters to be black. With most of the fantasy stories I don’t see people of color, and as a fan of the genre, I’d love to see more. Rather than insist that others write this for me, I’m in a good position to create this fantasy myself. So I have something I like in the works.

Now this is where I see a non-issue I wanted to discuss. Years ago, in my budding years of starting my artistic endeavors, It was suggest in part by theory, and in expectation that artists that happen to be minorities should exclusively address minority issues and topics. That’s not true in my book, but it touches on something that does bother me.  My characters don’t represent an entire community. They’re characters, have a lot of flaws, do a lot of wrong (I can tell by what I wrote so far), and they keep moving forward. I’d hate for my charters to be seen as symbols or political commentary on black culture/life.

While I can’t control how others feel or interpret material, I can say that I know where I stand with my own creations. Also I think creating characters like me in that they are from a minority isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it feels like a weight is put upon any creator who attempts to infuse (or inform) his/her material with some of their own culture/ethnic background. At the very least I imagine that afterwards I may be expected to write more “pure” characters who aren’t flawed or imperfect, or make my dark fantasy a “light” fantasy. Like I said, this is a non-issue, but writing it out gives me a certain amount of release of a line of ideas that may go nowhere.

I will say this, the dark content does get dark. I can’t see this story or any of the subsequent stories in this world being casual or light. Perhaps no one will demand a thing of me.

Happy creative endeavors.


NOTE: Wrote this a few days ago, but I felt it was half-done, so I’m finishing it up now.

Yesterday I felt like jotting some ideas down, so I did. I had a lot of them, so getting them out on pear was good for me. One of them was writing a suite of short stories. I don’t even know how well they’re linked together yet, so I made a list of ideas of how to put them down. i put a lot of ideas down. Some that don’t make sense, like “snakes, precious metals, songs, and antiques.” I don’t know how any of these things are going to be linked or will even stick, but again I feel like if I don’t put pen/pencil to paper, I’m not really doing anything other than guessing. One of the harder parts of this challenge will be to sit and craft a story based on the suite. As per the last post, I wanted to write a set of short stories (excluding the one I’m writing about poisoning-that’s his own force of nature).

So now I have several ideas to stew upon. Better to have something to look over than it all in my head at this point. How else will the stories get commitment? Also wrote down several plot points for my treatment that I need to type now that I have the free time, and that’s something I’m looking forward to. Spent the day loafing, and staring at this bag of peanut butter cups. I so am gonna open them up and devour a few. Can’t lie, sometimes a guilty pleasure on a day of loafing is good for me. It allows me to unwind and forget all my woes. What will relax me deeper is a hot bath, and two things get done: Cleaned up and relaxing. I will be good and mellow.

Writing’s been up and down this weekend, with me writing some more on Sunday night. Up and about now, and not feeling so good. My mind’s still asleep, while my body is still awake. Well, I’ll be at fully awake soon, and writing is a start of the brain working, right? The weekend seemed to mellow me to a point of complete rest, but now is the time to get it back together.

Happy creative endeavors.