Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Limit - Solving the Midpoint

Today's my 'finish this re-draft' deadline ... & I'm approaching the end of Act 2. REASON: MWA offered me some more work which has had to be done over this week and last, so I've deferred script progress in order to earn some dentist money.

The writing's been going smoothly but right now I think I'm facing a psychological block - I need to make a change that has big ramifications for the rest of the film. It's a simple change, but I think its implications are stopping me from going ahead with making it. Instead I'm analysing. And working on this much-delayed post.

The work I'm doing for MWA is confidential, but I can say - Without disclosing anything secret - that a lot of very successful people in this country perceive a difference between women and men in the way they solve problems. Apparently, (1) men come up with solutions and implement one quickly whereas (2) Women analyse the whole situation, try and get down to the core of the problem and then generate a solution.

Now I'm not sure whether those patterns are gendered that strongly, but I've reached a point on The Limit that reminds that I've certainly been guilty of #1 a lot.

The Midpoint of the script consists of an argument plus a new threat for one of the lead characters. Now, the threat's always worked fine but the argument has always seemed to slow things down. I've tried a lot of fixes on it over the last five drafts and nothing's worked.

So what did I realise during this edit? That none of these quick fixes had addressed the main problem. That the midpoints for the two leads were separated by about 10 pages ... and that that distance was killing momentum the script's momentum.

So, lessons to apply in future:
1) Coming up with a quick fix is fine, if I'm utterly convinced by it.
2) If I'm not convinced, then analyse the problem thoroughly. I've been finding that Deviation Analysis works well as a tool.
3) Analyse anything that looks like a massive drop in engagement when I draft my Whammo Chart.
4) If, after coming up with a quick fix, a problem still remains in the next draft, analyse it.

Now, to probably procrastinate further!

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