Saturday, April 5, 2014

creating a/broad, April 5, 2014

Attention Span
by Cameryn Moore

I am struggling with my newest script, I’ll be honest. Two and a half weeks before my first semi-public reading, and GUH, it is making me batshit. And I’m trying to figure out what the fuck is going on, if it’s the character or the plotline or my stress level or my attention span. I mean, what.

It’s not that I’m lacking for time to write. The phone lines have been pretty slow for the last month, and I’m home all day most days. And it’s not like I’m not producing things either. I’ve got a pretty regular rhythm with my phone-sex-related blog posts, and my FB stream is hopping. Smut Slam is finally picking up energy. My Sidewalk Smut has somehow sprouted a non-sidewalk branch, so that I’m doing custom erotica over the internet and that’s gotten really interesting to me for all sorts of reasons. And then in a dream last week I received the subtitle for a future play.

I think my subconscious mind is trying to distract me. 

Like, repeatedly. Because my creativity and performance these days seem to come most readily in fragments: Facebook status updates. 500-word blog posts. 60 seconds of filler between people at my smut slams. Half-pages of erotica (and that’s with extra space between the lines). Even for this column, I am noticing that I am writing it one paragraph at a time. 

Short-form is its own artistic challenge, though, right?

I don’t know if this is really a problem, but I think it might be. A challenge, at least.

I don’t remember having this challenge with previous scripts. Well, not with my first three scripts, anyway. I had the sustained energy to sit down and pound it out, and the overarching sense of shape and flow was there—maybe not from the beginning, but definitely before I got too far in—so even in moments where I was just too mentally exhausted to forge on that night, I still had the feel for the big picture to come back to the next time I sat down for a work session.

And now I am not feeling the big picture. I am feeling the snapshots, the gesture drawing, the glimpses of truth and/or beauty and/or sexy that are popping up from time to time in my life. I feel them, I try to pin them down and type them out. I take notes, and then more notes, in the hope that the big picture will emerge from the collage of small pictures, but so far it hasn’t. Not in my script, not in my life.

Short-form is its own artistic challenge, though, right? I know this to be true from my work in smut. Creating a satisfying, thought-provoking arc in a limited space, while still offering enough detail to make it vivid, that’s tough. 

And not marketable as theatre. 

And not considered serious by many reviewers and consumers of culture.

And harder to make a real impact with.

I definitely want to keep making an impact. But I don’t remember how to write long-form anymore.

And this column is only half of its normal length.

See what I mean?

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