Though I work on other projects between drafts, I find it hard to go back and forth between screenplays that I’m writing, or to start work on a shorter form screenplay while I’m waist deep in a rewrite of one of my longer form projects. I know I should just finish a project and then move to the next. The problem is that ideas keep coming to me – good ideas, I think – that I really need to get on paper in some way, shape, or form.
In my mind, these stories are so detailed and almost complete. Over time, I end up with these fragments of stories stored in my head, but aging through time. It’s really not like an aged wine – wine gets better with age, I think – but these stories seem to fade. Maybe the original idea wasn’t as good as I thought and my brain is doing a bit of cleansing – saving me from the embarrassment of diving into the new story that will turn out to be a total disaster. Or maybe it was a masterpiece lost, never to be found, in the slowly dying cells in my brain.
I have started idea journals, but never seem to keep up with them. They too are fragments of thoughts that turn into a similar mess like those ideas lost in my mind. I’m sure this isn’t just my problem, I’m sure writers (and story tellers) since the beginning of time have struggled with so many stories, too little time to work on them… And then they go… Somewhere… Lost in time.