Sunday, 7 December 2008

Time for some fettling...

Well, the first draft of act one was finished a couple of days ago now, and yesterday I started fettling away at it, thinning it down, trimming off the fat.

I'm 20 pages into this, the second draft of act one, and I've so far managed to cut away 4 pages of waffle, so that feels good - plus it reads better, and looks better when staring at the page as a whole - again I'm taking inspiration from that recent Charlie Brooker Screenwipe special about writers, on which one of them said about keeping the writing as simple and punchy as possible so you hopefully avoid the reader's heart sinking when they see great big chunks of text all over the coming page.

So yeah - this fettling away makes it read better, and look better. I'm tightening the dialogue, fixing the odd sentence that needed changing/removing so that it made sense when something happened/was described later on.

But mostly it's about trimming down the descriptive stuff, taking out extraneous words, shortening words (so "zombie" becomes "zed", or a vehicle type becomes simply initials), that sort of thing.

It does take quite a while, staring into the void of white on screen, pocked with thin black text ... but it feels really good after a session of fat trimming.

As before, it's coming along nicely, and as you can see I forced myself to pause at the start of Act Two, head back to the beginning, and set about trimming away (it also helps to get your head into everything that has come before in a more condensed fashion, you remind yourself about what has happened, about the characters etc, and thus it helps when you get back to the beginning of the following act to continue writing anew).

This said, I do look forward to getting onto Act Two, there's a lot more happening in Act Two, in terms of variety - Act One was two segments on my brainstorm, while Act Two is four segments - and hopefully I won't be writing as long as I did for Act One. I think that first act just had a shed-load of action to describe, lots of visual elements to establish, to get the reader into the world at reads a little longer on the page than it would on the screen, is what I'm trying to say.

Aye, I don't bother doing a second draft of my blog posts, who's got the time and boring amounts of patience for that? Blogging is like emailing, it's rash and instant!


In other news - next week I'll hopefully be ordering my new PC, which will become my primary editing rig ... oh I do look forward to rendering Magic Bullet nice and fast, and yes - to finally getting to play STALKER: Clear Sky, which was sadly just too much for my current rig, a rig which will remain in constant use for all my other tasks - like script writing for example.


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