Writing is like learning to ski. Your ass hurts and there's always snow down your pants. Wait, that's not right.
What I mean is...you master the bunny hill, because all you really need to do is stay upright and you'll be at the bottom before you're able to gain enough speed to wipe out. It's not that you really know how to ski; it's that you can keep yourself alive until the slope evens out and gravity's on your side again. Then you try one of the big ones, and suddenly you're speeding down the hill, screaming like a maniac and wondering whose idea it was to strap giant pieces of metal to your feet and push you down a mountain. Finally you get intimate with a nearby snowbank (or tree) and realize that the bunny hill method of skiing is going to get you killed.
I used to write journalism and prose pieces, usually very short ones. I had certainly heard words and phrases like "rising action" and "climax" and "resolution," but I never really paid any attention to structure. Generally I could write enough clever dialogue and rich sensory description to keep readers engaged until the the end of the piece.
It doesn't work so well with writing scripts. Everything has to be planned out. Every beat must build to the next one. Every line must have meaning. And I knew this. But I think was in a bit of bunny hill denial.
So my next step is massive structure study. I am going to be watching and reading pilots nonstop, breaking them down, copying their moves and hoping that someday I just naturally think of perfectly structured stories.
(And for the record...I snowboard now. But that shit's so much harder to learn that you won't master the bunny hill til like day 3, and the analogy is just a mess...)
Also, I just saw the movie TAKEN. Logline: Liam Neeson brutally murders dozens of strangers to save his 16 year-old daughter from human trafficking (ignoring all the other enslaved women) so she can return to her superficial LA life. Yowza.