Monday, 13 December 2010

3 hours and 2 pages later.....

.....I finished the latest rewrite of my hour-long drama.

WARNING: this story will be partially told through feline images.
I met with my uni tutor last week to talk over my script. All in all, good response, but some key issues with character motivation and plausibility - this is always a thing with my early drafts. One problem involved a flashback. It's a little too tricky to explain (and you probably couldn't care less on a Monday morning), but this flashback needed to do several things:

1) establish core conflict between Character A and B, 2) set up the backstory between Characters A and C, and 3) kill off Character D, whilst dumping the blame on Character A. Does that make any kind of sense?

Anyway, I gave myself two pages to do this in, since it comes very early on in the script and there's nothing worse than endless flashbacks to start a story, resulting in a delayed trigger/inciting incident.

I'd have had no problem doing this in 10 pages (60 pages would have been great!), but two pages it was. The biggest problem I had was choosing a situation. I had the final image firmly set in my head, so that wasn't a problem. What I needed was, literally, the location for the scene. I went through roughly 20 different locations and wrote the scene around that. Barely any of them worked and none of them did it in two pages.
It had taken me roughly 3 hours in the morning to rewrite the rest of the script, changing a whole bunch of stuff around. But, by this point in the afternoon, I'd been sitting in front of my laptop for two and a half hours and I hadn't written a single page. All I'd done was write, read, delete.
Then a friend* popped onto MSN messenger and I explained my dilemma as best I could. After about 10 minutes, she mentioned the character's home.

The home.
In all those 20 locations I'd written for, at no point had I used the home. I'd gone with bars, strip clubs, dingy warehouses, dark alleyways, hospitals, police stations, schools, motorway pile-ups, a magician's brothel (don't ask!). But no home. What a stupid idiot I had been!

Anyway, after three hours of sitting there, I'd finally written the scene. It was 2 pages long. And it worked. Huzzah!!! Then I looked at the dialogue. Oh dear. It's a long and arduous road ahead.

* Needless to say, I owe this friend a drink or 10.

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