HOW LONG DOES WRITING TAKE UNTIL THE PROJECT FEELS RIGHT?
Once you have some years of writing experience under your belt, it’s fairly easy to estimate how long an acceptable draft will take—assuming no extraneous factors intervene—though they frequently do.
In fact, I belong to the group who believe life is a plot designed to stop writers from writing.
Feeding pets! Driving children to football games! Cleaning out the gutters! These are all distractions in a business which demands absolute focus. In fact, I have long recommended that a writer’s pet should be stuffed and small children should be kept in the washing machine (much easier to keep them clean that way-and keep the noise level down).
Do I jest? Not completely… Actually, I’m quite nice to pets and small children, but you get my point.
The hardest part with a writing project is not producing a draft, but getting it right as far as you the writer is concerned. Satisfying other people is in the lap of the gods (though naturally you try). But, essentially, your own judgment—which can take some years to cultivate—is what counts.
I had intended to go for a long walk after lunch—the weather has continued gorgeous, at least as far as the afternoons and evenings are concerned. Instead, I re-wrote a screenplay scene which I felt should be more visual. I could have let it go, but my creative conscience was giving me a hard time.
The changes worked, but it all made for another very long day.
Late evening, after a walk, I watched the last episode of RETURN TO LONESOME DOVE. It was made in 1993—and, in my opinion, was quite up to the standard of Larry McMurty’s original. Quite what the copyright politics were, I have no idea, but this mini-series was written by John Wilder who did an impressive job.
I wonder is John Wilder any relation of Andrew Wilder (arguably best known for CRIMINAL MINDS).
The very talented Andrew wrote a screenplay for my first book, GAMES OF THE HANGMAN—which I have never seen.
Such are the ways of Hollywood. Such is a writer’s world.