That Moment In Between the Fiction and the Reality

I completed the latest draft of my screenplay last night. I felt strangely out of place afterwards. A screenplay about myself, and the end of my marriage to PJ, that first began as an entry to a 24-hour play writing competition seven years ago. So many drafts and incarnations since then. So many different versions of myself since – both as a writer, and as a character in my own story.

One of the greatest compliments I received from my writers group, was that the story didn’t feel like a deeply personal, autobiographical work. It felt like a screenplay.

Indeed, I worked hard to make the piece dramatically sound. Real life was slowly stripped away to make room for fictional characters in a fictional story. And with that one final tweak to the very final page of the script, I felt like I tied everything together. I felt like all the themes and ideas, and character arcs came together in a beautiful symmetry, over one final stroke of my protagonist’s pen. I wrote the end of my play, and he wrote the end of his.

And now we’re finished.

I’ve had meetings with dozens of producers over the past few months. Many have been waiting for me to send them this script, so when it shows up in their inbox, it won’t be unexpected. I’m confident that I’ll make a deal with somebody, and then we’ll see what happens from there.

Speaking of making deals, I’ve agreed to terms with Next Stage Press for the rights to my play, Not Being A Dick. I’m going to be a published writer! For real. 

The contract still needs to be signed, and there may be some formatting and other bits of business to finalize, but it’s really going to happen. What’s most interesting, is that the deal for this play (inspired by real life events) came in the same week I completed another script about my own real life events. 

I’ve become very not comfortable with sitting still to reflect on my past. The older I get, the more people go missing from my everyday life – which seems to be a fact of living. A lot of the people we take for granted in the present, slowly slip away until one day we realize that they’re no longer in the picture.

I think that’s why I felt so out of place last night. I brought all those people, places and events out of my past, and into my present, and I used them like a tool to craft a fictional story – but the memories between the words remain as vivid and distant as ever. The past living inside the present – available to the highest bidder.

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