Dealing with Interruptions

A few weeks ago, I had to put a feature script on hold while I revisited a TV project I thought I was done with. This week, I delivered the new work on the TV project, which means I've got the green light to dive back into the feature again.

Except, it's not that simple.

I had a certain pace going; I was on a roll. Since it was interrupted, and I essentially put all thought of the feature out of my mind to focus on the TV project (they're very different genres and tones - it would be ill-advised to think about both simultaneously), I knew I couldn't just jump straight back into it again. So I've come up with a three-stage plan:

ONE: Ignore it for as long as possible. Sounds like laziness, I know, but it's important to generate sufficient enthusiasm for the project again, and an easy way to do that is to not allow yourself to work on it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say.

TWO: Reread all the notes, script pages, outline/beat sheets and index cards, then retype them all. Sure, it's a lot of work, but it gets the mind engaged and the fingers working again. It puts you back in the planning stage, where you're looking at the story on a micro level and paying close attention to detail. It reminds you of all the cool things you came up with, which boosts confidence ("Wow, what a plot twist! Past Claire was a genius!").

THREE: Get to work. I'm not at this stage yet - I'm still in the early part of stage two - but the next step will be to simply start writing again. I will rewrite some of the old scenes, but mostly it will be all forward motion as if I'd had three days, not  three weeks, away from the script. Because that's the real secret to finishing a script - simply get on with it.