#159: Finally complete my AA: Alcoholics Annoy Us screenplay by adapting it into a novella.
Due Date: 6-8-2015
Resolution: Way back when I was attending film school I started to write a feature length screenplay entitled AA: Alcoholics Annoy Us (AKA Rehab For Quitters.) This is the story of Doug who's winding down and uneventful two year stint of court-order sobriety.
During this sentence he loses his friends to probational compliance and boredom. Upon completing his mandatory prohibition Doug begins to question the point of continuing to live a sober life having only himself to answer to and no moral issues against his former drunken life.
The only thing holding him back is the fear of hurting his pseudo-sponsor Nicole. She's a pseudo-sponsor and not a full sponsor for the exact reasons AA discourages male / female sponsorship. Doug has developed feelings for her and is fully aware that even though he is fine with the idea of revisiting old habits this temptation risks ruining the friendship or worse, her sobriety.
Though torn Doug's urge to return to the exciting ways of his inebriated past are very strong. It doesn't help that there's also a mysterious seven foot tall pink elephant trying to draw Doug back into his old habits as an escape from the mundane day to day life of a sober reality.
The pink elephant eventually wins and Doug cashes in his sobriety chip for a drunken night with new friends. He wakes the next morning with a hangover and a smile. He's certain that even though this may not be the life for everyone it is the life for him. He then decides to start a support group to help people live a responsible life while enjoying their vices.
Of course this doesn't work for everyone and it ruins the relationship between Doug and Nicole. This leads Doug to fall into a negative example of why his plan seems to be impossible. Rather than give into the decline he decides to put in the tough work to make this plan to become responsibly irresponsible a reality.
During the writing process I fell in love with the characters and really let them do whatever they needed to do to move the story along. I was very proud of their choices but by the time the assignment was due I was on page 88 (a decent page count to wrap up a feature length screenplay) my problem was that I hadn't reached the midpoint to my story yet (an event that should be taking place around page 45 or so.)
They say that it's good to over write to have things to tighten up in draft two but it became apparent to me that screenwriting wasn't the proper medium for this story. At the time I was only interested in writing screenplays and figured I'd eventually revisit the story and cut it down to a reasonable length.
Now that I'm interested in other forms of fictional writing I figure this might be the time to revisit AA in an attempt to adapt it into a novella. I know I just resolved to write a feature, but that story is still festering inside me and I really need a long format writing project in my life to work on RIGHT NOW.
Update #1: The Conclusion.
I wish I could get back to levels of drive and enthusiasm I had back when I set this resolution. If I was able to maintain a healthy life while going through the manic phases I was going through while setting many of these resolutions I know for sure I could have completed everything that didn't require funding and most of the things that did.
Unfortunately I crashed and I crashed hard this time. I still feel productive but now it feels out of obligation while back then it felt effortless as if I had no choice but to work nonstop. Life didn't feel like a chore back then. Sure I wasn't happy but I had hope that something I have worked on would finally pay off.
As things started to fall apart both professionally and personally it was hard to stay driven. That's why I decided to move and that's why this second half of the 365 Degrees of Resolution isn't as strong as year one.
As I try to regroup and figure out a strategy to move forward it's been real hard to revisit projects from the past, which is why I put this resolution on hold.
Hopefully I'll figure things out someday and if I do I will definitely find time to work on Alcoholics Annoy Us.
As always, I'll keep you posted.