Wednesday, 12 October 2011

"Allen Bridge" blog #27...

I've been through the script from start-to-finish, word-for-word, applying as many tweaks as possible along the way. That was Draft 2.1, so now we're onto Draft 2.2 - this is where I can hop around all over the script applying anything that I missed on the list of changes, or didn't quite nail down as required.

I can now focus on a specific issue at a time, applying all the necessary tweaks here and there as I need them - for example, it could be a single sentence of dialogue added to close a minor plot hole, or it could be adapting a piece of action or discovered information in Act II after having added some clarification (or done some more exploration of a theme) in Act III.

Right now there's a lot of effort going into the Act III denouement - there's a lot of loose ends to tie up in a way that makes enough sense to the reader (as opposed to me - who knows all of the back story and detail found in my notes, but which are not necessarily fully in the script's pages), while at the same time not just spelling every damned thing out like it's nursery school.

This is a mystery after all, and with plenty of characters (all of whom have back stories) and the expansive history of the eponymous town on offer, it's best to leave enough things open to allow numerous smaller/side mysteries to linger in the mind of the reader. The main bases have to be covered, but beyond that it's best to suggest further avenues in the story as opposed to the plot - the latter covers everything between the first and last pages of the script, while the former concerns that and everything that is off-screen before, during, and after what is written on the page.

So at the moment it's a case of layering on further levels of intricacies to the plot and the story - things get a little more detailed and sewn-together with every session of writing - and it's a satisfying thing to jump back and forth to pick out small subtleties that need a little polish, which link to other parts of the script, which then in-turn link to other thematic elements. It's like a million-piece jigsaw puzzle that's almost complete save for a patch of blue sky.

Looking forward though, I'm hoping to get Allen Bridge finished this month and sent off to the BBC Writersroom ASAP - after which I'll also see about submitting it to some of the companies that I recently discovered who accept scripts from writers such as myself.

Progress is good - it's going well - and it's tantalisingly close to completion with each passing day.

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