Tuesday 4 October 2011

"Allen Bridge" blog #25...

Draft 2.1 is underway - but getting into gear was a tad tricky. When you've been out of the way of writing for a little while it can be hard to get into that mode again - so I decided to ease into it slowly, applying a few cursory changes throughout the entire script to 'get my hand in' again.

However, as I've said before, oftentimes it's just a case of double-clicking that icon - that simple task is surprisingly a hurdle in itself - but once you're into the software, your brain suddenly thinks "well, seeing as I'm here" ... and off you go.

I'm currently at the end of Act I in the re-drafting process and the page count for the entire script has jumped a couple of pages (mostly due to a handful of extra lines that pushed everything beyond it down a notch or two) and it's going well so far. Although I do still aim to trim down Act I as it's still a little bit on the long side - but I think that'll have to wait for Draft 2.2 for now.

There haven't been any major changes thus far, and there's unlikely to be - it's more clarifying smaller elements, enhancing certain aspects of certain back stories, tweaking dialogue, and seeking the perfect balance of how the mystery itself plays out (walking a fine line in search of a perfect balance between giving away enough to suggest various possibilities, but not so much that you allow someone to figure out something important ahead of time).

That said, some small changes can require plenty of time and thought to go into what is relatively speaking only a few lines of dialogue, or the tone of someone's action at a specific moment in a scene. One of the larger changes though is to do with part of Miller's back story, which will provide a tighter additional reason for him being in Allen Bridge in the first place and why he's so inexplicably drawn to the place. This change is really a further exploration of an element that was already present in the first draft, but one which kind of ended up in the background - but when you're piecing together an entire script with multiple characters, back stories, and histories, it's bound to happen ... that's what re-drafting is for, anyway.

So far so good, and I have to say I'm very proud of this script. Without a doubt in my mind, it's the strongest thing I've written, and is easily one of the most satisfying writing experiences I've ever had.


Anonymous said...

I know how it feels to have written something that you consider to be your greatest work. I'd love to see some of it. The satisfaction one feels from reading their work and being impressed by it is second to none. Sometimes you forget the power of your own creations: "Wow, did I write that?"

I'm finishing up a screenplay that I think is my best work hands down. The idea came to me in a dream a few months ago and I whacked out a 75 page draft instantly. Just going through final tweaks now.

Nick Thomson said...

Funnily enough part of the inspiration for Allen Bridge was from a dream ... and a couple of ideas for horror stories/scripts that I've got on the 'to do list' also came from dreams.

Perhaps it's similar for you, but when I dream it often feels like snippets of a film that have been cut from a complete movie and sort of placed together, sometimes randomly and sometimes in order ... the visions are very cinematic in look. Strong imagery. Then I have to run to the nearest notepad and pen before the dream fades away completely - it's weird, but you can actually feel the memories of the dream erasing in your mind as you hurriedly scribble away.

Anonymous said...

My dreams sometimes end with credits so they can be very cinematic, hehe.

But it's the same for me. When I dreamed of the scene which became 'Ferocious Hospitality', it absolutely moved me to tears and had to quickly compose myself and write it down before the dream left me. It was a difficult task due to my state at the time but I got it down.

The resulting script is a different beast altogether though and I'm fine with that. I found the hardest part was finding an appropriate ending. I had everything but the finale for quite some time until I settled on an abrupt no-climax finish. And it works! Damn thing was staring me in the face all the time.

Nick Thomson said...

Aye, getting the ending just right can be a tricky beast unto itself. You can have practically the entire script down - but there's so much to tie-up in the denouement that it can prove a real struggle.

Allen Bridge has a LOT of stuff to tie-up in the final pages, and due to the nature of the story itself, it's not an easy thing to wrap up quickly and easily ... so the ending of the script will definitely be the part that gets the most attention when it comes to re-drafting. Not that there isn't an ending - there is a defined ending - but it's how to cover all the necessary bases and make a deliberately murky vision provide enough answers to tie-up necessary loose ends, but to leave enough smaller things lingering to continue the wider mysteries beyond "THE END" ... if that makes sense?