Problem Solver- Yes, I think I am

In Playwriting, The Daily Drool on November 21, 2009 at 1:16 am

I’ve always enjoyed puzzles.  Not rules, mind you, but puzzles.  Word puzzles, strategy games, Sudoko is like CRACK… and when I was into math, it was always the geometric “What are the angles?” questions that I lusted after.

Because I find great joy in the solving.

The rules thing is probably why I took this passion with me into the arts, however, because I couldn’t reconcile my enthusiasm with a black and white world; I much prefer to dance among the many shades of grey.

And as I write, I find that my greatest moments of triumph and exultation come after I’ve sweated and sworn and banged my head into the keyboard more times than I care to give number to, only to arrive, FINALLY, at the solution to my dramatic complications.

I LOVE these moments.  They are internal, personal moments of supreme victory and validation- and their promises are what keep my nose to the grindstone when faced with every daunting rewrite, edit, or “What the Fuck?” a play brings my way.

I’m working on a screenplay for a producer right now- working from his story outline and treatment – to try and lift the best parts of his work out, dust them off, and reshape them into a shiny, happy, new script.  And there are some significant challenges inherent to this project – Chief among them is the matter of “Committing to Everything, Marrying Nothing” – which basically means that I need to try to use his material as much as possible to solve the story problems before I go blasting away with my own jackhammer, mortar and paste.  And today is one of the days that my crafty little imagination and I found a great solution that requires very little structural change to one of the story’s hiccups.

Which makes me very happy, and which I think will please the producer as well, which helps me feel a little less overwhelmed by the other challenges I know are coming.

It’s something to think about- that the job of a writer is so multi-dimensional.  We are counselor, omniscient creator of worlds, problem solver, and on top of all that (most of the time) our own damn publicist- endeavoring to create worlds so titillating that those with the money and wherewithal to give them life have no choice but to adopt our creative children and do their best to deliver them in all their potential glory.

It’s full of challenges, but the rewards are so sweet, how can I not but follow this exciting path?

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