I chickened out.

It’s three days to Fade In and I dang-diddly chickened out.

I admit it. I’m not ready to wrangle Cheap Cyborg. Shit, I’m not even sure I can write a 100 pages of anything in a month, let alone an ambitious, if messy and unfocused science fiction epic…

Especially a messy and unfocused science fiction epic.

And just as everything was going so well.

Sure, it was in the nick of time, but I had finally gathered up all my Cheap Cyborg notes, started fleshing out the few characters I had thought up and I was even working on a rough outline.

I had almost convinced myself that I could do it. That I could really step up and write the shit out of this thing. Yeah, so I had a bunch of holes, but I could make it up as I go along, right? It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be long…

Well, I’ve tried facing the brick wall of ‘what the fuck do I do now?’. It isn’t fun. In fact, it’s brutal and unforgiving and it takes time. Under pressure of time and especially when trying to prove to myself that these nimble ungroomed fingers can do creative writing as well as code, a more accessible project is probably a good idea.

So around noon yesterday I created a new Scrivener project, full-screened it and stared at it for a while, waiting patiently for my brain to start sending those nuggest of gold I knew were in there down the river…

And I waited…

And I waited…

This is the hardest part for me, about writing. Psh, not that I know, because really I haven’t written anything to such a length that I can properly say that, so really everything that follows is a pile o’ dong… But please, by all means.

Anyway, this is the hardest part of writing. It’s not that conjuring ideas into existence isn’t easy. It’s a breeze. I have a folder-load of those, I’ve called it ‘Writing’. But truthfully I should rename it to ‘The Idea Graveyard’.

It’s not that the ideas are bad… Come on!... Alright, alright, some of them are bad… Okay, so a lot of them are bad… probably. The point is, finding that one good idea that is at once powerful, elegant and simple as well as translatable, is inhumane.

Someone really famous—who exactly I’ve forgotten, so he/she can’t have been that famous—said something to the effect of: perseverance beats out skill and luck every time. And in turning those graveyard ideas into workable ideas, perseverance will undoubtedly eventually get me over the finish line.

But the good idea saves you the time and a hell of a lot of work.

So I waited…


I’m ready. I think. No… I’m ready. Yes.

Now comes the harsh reality of actually writing one hundred pages in one month. Between my birthday, three RPG sessions, a night out on the town, a concert and various other minutia, I’m already down to three weeks. That evens out to about 5 pages a day, which, I happen to know, is what George Lucas writes in a full day, morning to evening…

Since I only have night and weekends, that’s… optimistic.

I would characterize it borderline insane, but I don’t want to jinx myself already.

I’d better go flesh out my outline a bit more…


The Script Frenzy Report Card

Michael Heilemann

Battlestar Returning

Michael Heilemann