The Emotions of Story-telling. Part 2: Pain

ImprisonedBismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem.

Assalam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatahu!

I started out this week weeping over how awful and not funny my screenplay was. I might have been right. However, after changing the ending and doing a few character passes, it’s not as awful as I thought it was. Still not as funny as I’d like it to be, but not unfit-to-be-used-as-toilet-paper bad as I thought it was.

Funny how one’s emotions turns on a dime.

I’ve been ruminating on my other screenplay, the one about the Deaf family going through trying times.

I’ve been unable to find the enthusiasm to dive back into it though it’s not a terrible concept. In fact, according to my friends at The Black Board, it’s amazing.

While writing and rewriting Whose Wife Is It Anyway this week, I realized why that was. I know the world of Whose Wife Is It Anyway. I lived in it. I know what’s likely to happen and I know what’s not likely to happen.

But more important than that – I know its pain. I’ve felt the very same pain myself. I know what the characters hunger for. I’ve felt that same hunger myself.

I can choose to dress up that hunger in a screenplay however I like – with comedy set-pieces, with action scenes, with stirring speeches, etc. But the fact is, I don’t need to think too hard to get back into that place

I don’t know the pain that drives Operation Kismet yet. Not yet. Or the hunger. I might have felt it peripherally but not as viscerally.

I know it intellectually but that’s not enough.

I’m going to say that this calls for research but it calls for more than that I think. It calls for soul-searching – no, less pretty than that. I need to wade into the muck. That too, someone else’s muck. I need to get Operation Kismet’s skin. And I need to allow it to get under my skin.

I need to not be afraid of that pain. In fact, I should invite it in.

How well do you know the ‘pain’ in your work?

Wassalam and Fee Amanillah. Be cool and carry sanitizer.



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