Friday, April 28, 2006

Update on the Limit

I've thought a lot about whether I should post this, but given that I'm trying to keep a full record of my writing process I think I have to go through the last fortnight.

Two Fridays ago - DBS gave me feedback on the script. Much of it was good, some of it was really challenging. I enjoyed the session a lot.

Two Saturdays ago - I finally read through the script myself. My emotions went through two phases:
  • 1) the actual reading, where I thought that the script was terrible. Unrealistic, badly motivated, lame writing. It totally didn't live up to the ideal in my head and I was pretty much devastated by the end;
  • 2) drawing the whammo chart - my graph of how interested I was in the script. This revealed that many of my problems lay in the first act but that the middle of the script still wasn't as strong as I hoped. Two reasons for that were that it was unclear what Peter wanted to achieve in his first intense conversation with Forster, and that Tracy's midpoint is misplaced. So, I was slightly lifted by that. Slightly.

Two Sundays ago - acted in the Wasps. My character was supposed to receive utterly devastating news to his ego. I drew on the memory of just having read the script.

I took a week off, where I couldn't face reading or thinking about the thing. I drew some solace from a book on script-editing where another writer was described as adopting the fetal position for two days, curled up in bed with a hot water bottle. I was not that bad.

Last Saturday - Morgue and Pearce described how Clive Barker reads his books aloud when he finishes writing them. I resolved to do that with this script.

Last Sunday and Monday - I forced myself to read through the script, taking notes. While most of them were pretty specific, what I was really trying to do was get an understanding of the big picture.

Today - just read it aloud, and it really gave me a clear idea of why certain scenes (like Peter deciding to take revenge) weren't working. I'm feeling better about the script.

So the big picture changes are:
Act 1 - tighten up the family stuff
Act 2i - clarify Peter's motivations and restructure the mid-points.
Act 2ii - make sure the action scenes relate to characters. Possibly put Tracy into a much darker place, emotionally.
Act 3 - focus on the three main characters, plus handle the exposition 2000% better.

Now to look at everyone else's feedback and see where they and I agree.
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