I believe “The Muse” rewards effort, but not in the way you might expect. Once again, a few months ago, I found myself working on a script – a spec comedy feature – but the more I worked on it, the more it seemed to get away from me. Undaunted, I still sat down every day and faced it, some days making no progress, some days even losing ground, but I refused to give up. This went on for weeks (ok, months.) Anyone who actually is a writer will tell you the same thing: You have to sit down every day and have at it. Nothing attracts inspiration or The Muse better than the sound a keyboard makes when you’re typing.
… and it eventually came to me. I woke up one morning with a nearly complete story that felt like it had been downloaded into my head while I slept, but it had nothing to do with the spec comedy I was struggling with. It wasn’t even in the comedy genre. It was a horror movie. I’m not saying I woke up from a nightmare and wrote it down, I’m saying I woke up from a horror movie I was watching in my sleep and wrote it down.
I never expected my gift from the Muses to be a horror movie idea, but I’ve learned to pay attention when something like this happens because it has happened to me a few times in the past. I’ve woken up with two spec sitcom pilots downloaded into my head. In both cases, they arrived when I was struggling mightily with some other, completely unrelated project.
So in just a few weeks, I had a solid first draft completed. I sent it out for notes to a few trusted writer friends, including one who knows a lot more about the horror genre than I do. I took in their notes and with little effort turned out a much better and tighter second draft. Wanting to see where I really stood with this 2nd draft in a more public way, I did what I tell my friends & students to do: I submitted the script to a couple of Horror-specific writing contests and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results: I submitted to two contests and the script popped to the “Quarterfinals” in both of them. I’m certain the latest draft is even better.
Thank you mysterious muses. I really think this script could go places.