Writing Lily

An Essay By Gary // 8/1/2005

Most writers have experienced writer’s block. The times when your brain refuses to work. It’s like being frozen and glued to the floor. The blank stare and brain moving in circles are classic syndromes. But another problem is the opposite, which could be called “writer’s spew”. When the writer conceives too much, or more than he bargained for. Giving him too much material, but, nevertheless material he loves excessively.

Writing Choosing Lily has been a little adventure. I conceived Lily around two or three years ago, and as projects often end up with me, I never finished it. The story is about Karen, a teenage girl who finds out she’s pregnant and chooses not to have an abortion. The plot seems simple, a girl and abortion, but it’s never that easy for me. The first form of Lily was simple, a fifteen minute short film was the idea. However, the simple Lily got pushed aside and placed on the back burner. I was younger and doing a pro-life film seemed like a very hard thing. However, it came back to the forefront fairly recently, after I made Noel, a nativity movie. The idea came back and it seemed it was time to make Lily.

However, thinking it was time and molding the story were two fairly different things. It soon evolved, so that my fifteen minute short film became a feature film-length drama. The problem is that I have absolutely no control when things like this happen. They just do. The story gets better and better and you just can’t throw out all that good stuff. So, faced with a story too long for fifteen minutes, Lily shifted gears. Now, this would be easy to accomplish if I had a) a big film company or b) a million dollars. The irony is, however, that I’m a normal teen. Now, I already finished Noel, so that does give me hope. Noel was such a gift from God. We had a lot of fun, with over thirty actors (mostly homeschooled kids under twelve), and lots of help. We made a thirty minute nativity play that we premiered at a seminary. So Lily seemed like the next step, the daunting next step.

Screenplays are odd. They don’t supply too much information or too little. They supply the basic idea of the movie, however the other integral parts of the film are contained elsewhere. There’s the script, the concept art, story boards, and the minds of writer and the director. The thing with my movies, is that ninety-nine percent of the pre-production is done by God and I. Praying, then writing, writing and praying.

And, so, writing the screenplay was the next task. The problem was the constant shifting nature of Choosing Lily. The plot simply will not stay in one place and like the length, is uncontrollable. Lily’s plot fluctuated rapidly, and rewrites came quick and fast. It was “writer’s spew”, my dreaded enemy. The one that had turned a tiny fairy tale of mine into a huge trilogy. It threatens writers with pure exhaustion.

Lily is getting there, I hope to have it planned and ready for filming soon. It’s going to be an adventure. Hopefully it will be a beautiful testimony to truth. God willing, “Filming Lily” will come soon!

PS
I'm fifteen, my bio will not change... :)

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