A good story is a powerful thing. It lulls you in. It insinuates its way into the back of the mind and abides there, even when you are not thinking about it.
When you get to the end, there is a sense of completion. A journey has been finished. Parts that were separate have been brought together. The back brain can put it to one side and rest.
All the above is true of reading a book or watching a movie or listening to a story over a camp fire. It also describes my experience of creating a story. The narrative exists in a nebulous, illusive form only crystallizing into something solid when it is written down.
At the beginning of the writing process, I stride forwards into the fog, not knowing what is going to emerge after the next few paces. In the middle, I start to get a sense of the potential destination. And at the end - in the dash to the finish line - I have it all in my head simultaneously and am frantically trying to get it fixed on the page.
This last stage is the reason for my silence over the last couple of weeks. I have been pressing on towards the end of the screenplay 'Interviews With A Serial Killer' (formerly known as White Angel 2).
It is an all-consuming process. Frantic with writing. Even when not writing, I am thinking about it. The characters, the twists, the imagery and dialogue allow the writer little rest. It is a self-centred phase. I don't think it makes me a particularly nice person. There is just me and the story and I resent anyone who wants to take me away from it.
Last night at 9pm I finished writing and e-mailed the screenplay to Chris Jones - presently attending a film festival in Spain. I'm sure there will be further drafts, but for now I feel the weight lifted. My back brain is no longer having to juggle all the variables of a story.
Exciting things are happening in the next few days, so more blog entries will follow.