I had a revelation yesterday. A revelation that was simultaneously obvious and obscured. That is both dramatic and irrelevant.
See, I finally figured out why I care about project A, why I had to force myself to write project B, and why project C, an amazing idea that almost everyone responds to, holds so little appeal.
And the revelation occurred in the form of a ridiculous anime sex comedy.
You see, this show was so ridiculous it has some poorly translated slang name, and I would have almost no hope of finding it on Google if it weren’t for the power of Netflix remembering what I’ve watched. I will spare you the trouble. It is called (I dare you to remember this in five minutes, much less an hour) B Gata H Kei and it is about a teenage girl who wants to have sex with a 100 men, well, teenage boys. Only she is totally clueless about all things sex.
It is everything I ever wanted out of screenwriting (even if it engages in all sorts of shameless fanservice).
See, when I finally got good coverage (*cough* no thanks to the first blcklst reader *cough*) on project A… I guess we can call it High School RomCom (although that really does it a disservice), I was delighted. The score, a six, was not amazing. Fair enough. But the reader called it a unique take on teenage sexuality (I’d like to thank the academy…) and praised my protagonist as awkward yet horny.
And, holy shit, did this weird anime encapsulate awkward yet horny, turned up to 11. If you watch anime, you know good anime turns everything up to 11 or 12. Everything is ridiculously, wonderfully over the top, making great use of its conventions, even as it breaks them. I’m thinking mostly of my perennial fav, Death Note, but also of my lesser fav, Ouran High School Host Club.
It’s not that I didn’t realize I love writing about awkward sexuality. I did. But I didn’t realize how much it appealed to me. I still love High School RomCom, despite not having touched it in over a year. And I’m still lukewarm on Projects B and C, despite knowing they are better written.
I just don’t care. I don’t care about the characters or their problems. Objectively, the scripts are better. The dialogue is better, the story is tighter, the concepts less convoluted. But I don’t care.
Even though they deal with sexuality. B is all about sex, even more so than A, but it doesn’t have that glee, that youthful exuberance. It’s so pragmatic. It’s real, and it makes a good point, but God does it lecture.
Now, it’s possible that distance makes the heart grow fonder. That HS RomCom was a beast to write. I was still in the phase where I had no idea what I was doing, and made a million lateral changes, and rewrote everything to death. By the time I declared myself done with it, I never wanted to see it again.
But I miss its je ne sais quoi. My current projects are lacking whatever it had, and that’s draining my motivation. I’ve got no real desire to be funny anymore, though I don’t know if it’s burn out, depression, or something else entirely.
I don’t know if– gasp–part of the problem is actually that my sex life is unfucked or that I’m sick of writing about sex period, what with writing smutty books for 20 hours a week.
And I don’t really care.
Except, that I have this weird feeling I used to recognize as inspiration. I think. And I actually WANT to write something for the sake of it, as opposed to because my schedule says I must write it.
I’m sure, that this slutty new idea is a tease, that once I tangle with it, I’ll realize it’s just as difficult as anything else I’ve ever written. And I’m not really planning to devote much, if any, time or energy to it.
After all, I don’t see much utility for another teenage romantic (sex) comedy script, even if I write this one knowing what it is, instead of figuring that out after a bajillion drafts. I already have the one. It’s not great, but it’s pretty good.
It’s not likely this will actually help my career. Or that I’ll ever have a screenwriting career.
Still, I might entertain it for a little while…
The truth is, I’ve been pushing this aside, shoving it where it can’t hurt me. I’ve told myself I don’t care what I write, as long as it’s in the ballpark of what I like to write. And that’s true, to some extent, but it hurts to think about not writing the awkward female sexuality stuff.
It’s literally painful.
I really do enjoy writing my angsty romances, even knowing I’ll have to write a little more to market, but I like them for different reasons. I still need that outlet, that opportunity to get into the weird and funny of sex, and especially of burgeoning sexuality.
But I can do both.
Sure, I won’t be able to devote a ton of time and energy to the latter, especially not if I go through with my plan of devoting myself to self pushing romance novels for 2 years in the hopes of making it into a career.
I’m 25 and I’m on track to make less than 20k this year. I want to have a career.
I guess, what I’m saying, is that there will be a screenplay D after screenplay C, and it will be another take on awkward teenage sexuality.
Or maybe I’ll write a YA novel instead.
Or maybe this is a random assortment of thoughts that lead to nowhere.
I’ve figured out what’s missing in my life (my writing life at least). That’s a solid first step.
Even if I’ve got no plans for a second.