Treatments

I’ve never really been able to do treatments. For stories, I can outline them all right; but for a treatment of a piece that’s meant to be a script, whether it’s radio or film of stage, I get carried away hearing people talk to each other. I get lost in writing the dialogue.

So it’s not a treatment, it’s a rough draft of a scene. Which I suppose is all right. I mean, this whole thing is about figuring why things work, and how they work. By force it’ll just be my personal experience, because I can’t get in anyone else’s head about these things.

So, in my head: treatments are hard. I feel stifled trying to keep everything to prose when I know the things I’m writing about are going to get done as dialogue. And I understand why a treatment can be useful; it gives a summary of events over a given piece, whether it’s a scene or an act or a whole work, and it may provide insights that you can’t really absorb while you’re all caught up in hearing people argue and anguish against each other.

I can’t help but still think, though, that a treatment — a solid thing, like the treatment for Terminator – is the foundation I need to get the platform-delivered portions of the story done. The treatment has all the answers. It’s the master document.

But that’s not how I write, and I think that’s the case for many writers. There’s a lot of mystery and discovery that happens in the moment. There’s a lot of deliberate mystery left, holes, vague foggy places that could be anything. For instance, I don’t really know what’s happened to Neyu’s family. Except Samsithi, and I only know a certain specific thing. And I’m fine with that. I need that undescribed arsenal ready for me to deploy with whatever attributes are needed at the time.

But it doesn’t make for a friggin’ treatment. Or maybe it does. I’m likely overthinking the matter. As usual.

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