How to Write While Sleeping

I’m through my first week at the new job. Haven’t gotten so much writing done, but actually more than I expected, so thus far my plan is working. Mwaahahahaha!!!

I haven’t done much because in addition to having to adapt my body to sleeping during the day, I am trying to finish up projects and tie off loose ends at the church where I [used to] work. This means I’ve been sleeping six hours or less each day and working non-stop. I slept for 1.5 hours today. No lie.

But once I was through with my two days of training and had the nights to myself, I tried to get a second start on plotting out my next script, which for the moment I am referring to as “The Hero Script.”

I plotted this out once already and went over it with Greg, but I didn’t really like it, Greg didn’t really like it, and I just felt it wasn’t doing justice to the concept. It’s a big concept with multiple thematic possibilities, and Wednesday night I started exploring those possibilities to find the one that would actually become the movie.

Thursday morning I staved off sleep for a few hours more to meet with Greg, and I told him what I’m about to tell the rest of you.

Let me note in advance that I’m aware of the pathetic pretentiousness that is the following sentence:

This movie wants to be a trilogy.

Now I’m aware that this puts me in bad standing on the Fantasy Novelist’s Exam, and I can’t think of anything sadder than being so incapable of coming up with a plot for a movie that you switch to plotting three movies, but I stand by what I said.

This movie wants to be a trilogy.

So having endured Greg’s attempts to talk me out of such foolishness, last night I began making notes about the three different movies. But let me just say, in mitigation, that I took one scrap of Greg’s comments to heart, viz., that I should figure out which one of the three was the one I most wanted to do, and do that one first.

Fortunately, it’s Part One of the trilogy.

So I wrote down as many notes as I could currently think of for Parts Two and Three (in nice columns in my spiral), and then started to dwell on Part One.

Unfortunately, this was c. 4:30 in the a.m., right about the time I hit the only-four-hours-of-sleep wall. It’s kind of completely against the point of the job to fall asleep, so I had to stop pretending to think about the Hero movie (while actually repeatedly nodding off) and switch to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I gleefully discovered among the scant library at the House. So far, it’s everything I expected. But that’s beside the point.

After a full night of work, followed by an almost-full day of work punctuated with the aformentioned 1.5 hours of nap on the couch in my office at the church, I went to help my small group work on one of our houses (floor sanding makes much dust). When I couldn’t really remain upright anymore, I drove home and watched Suspect Zero. Rather an interesting movie for the kind of script I’m starting at the moment. Worth a viewing, although don’t get too excited about the Ben Kingsley. If he had done any acting in this movie, I’m sure it would have been wonderful, as usual. But he wasn’t allowed to, so he had to stick to looking mysterious and threatening. Which he does well.

I’ve held off going to sleep because I want to get out of the habit of sleeping at night, but it’s getting about time to let my body have it’s way, so I’m not going to stick around here talking to you people.

Ryan Elainska