It was a fun evening! my dear friend Lil invited me to the film premiere of a friend of hers, Caytha Jentis, who had written and directed an indie comedy called Bad Parents. The film had a first-rate cast; the script was witty and funny and definitely won major laughs from the audience (check it out at BadParentsMovie.com).
After the show, there was a “talk back “in which Caytha said that while much of the dialogue was filmed as she wrote it, there was also some embroidering by the actors. She also said that she’s someone who just pushes forward when she commits to something — and that this tenacity is how she broke into the film business and has won funding support for her indie productions.
Later, my friend told me that the director had written the script in a “white heat” in about a week! Amazing, isn’t it? While I’m sure the script could have been fine-tuned, the dialogue and even the monologues had plenty of energy and snap. I wonder whether writing so quickly — just sitting down and getting everything on paper in an intense, focused way — helped to give the film its forward momentum.
While it’s true, as John Legend says, that “you can’t rush creativity,” I think there can often be real value in writing something from start to finish in a “white heat” and then going back and revising.
I know that I’ve often dragged projects out over long periods of time and found that when I pick them up again, it’s hard to reignite them. Not only do you lose focus , you also lose momentum. And that can be a problem, because capturing energy on the page is so important! It gives a story what I like to call “headlongedness” — that feeling of propulsion that sweeps a reader forward. How about you? Have you found that writing in one fell swoop can be an effective way to launch a project? Write on.