Writing Is Not Easy

Posted Saturday, September 13, 2008, 12:32 AM


I've been writing the second draft of my screenplay off and on these past few weeks, working through some of the problems.

Having had to introduce a whole new subplot to beef up the energy level it needed, and to keep some of the characters active through the plot, hasn't exactly introduced new problems into the plotting, like I thought it might; It has actually made it a much better story.

But what it has done is introduce problems with the pacing. Having to weave through this new, more exciting thread has interfered with the story structure already in place. Now I have to interrupt or bookend a quiet scene with an exciting action packed scene. Or worse, shunt up an action scene in one location, up against another action scene happening in a different location.

I've seen that work in a film, but I'm not talented or experienced enough to know what the trick is for it. Luckily I don't really have to be too strict in how each scene works together, as in the editing process there's plenty of opportunity to swap and alter and adjust to suit. But having said that, getting the scenes to at least work chronologically, and not be too jarring or confusing to read, is also an important skill to refine. After all, there isn't actually going to be an editing process, as the film is not intended to be made.

I think I'm doing okay. For every change I make that bothers me at its potential for distorting my story, there's another subsequent scene that pulls it back on track and keeps it flowing smoothly. It surprises me how successful it has been so far, to the point where I'm wondering if that means I'm missing something important. I probably am.

I should have this draft complete soon, and will then hand it over to a couple of people I trust to review it. I'll be looking for feedback on my abilities to write cohesively, entertainingly, and with the right level of detail to conjure up the imagery and characterisations I am hoping to depict. I expect I'll get a fair amount of notes, some of them harsh, and perhaps some of them suggesting dramatic changes in the story.

But I hope they'll generally be favourable enough to encourage me to keep going. And then hopefully I'll be buoyed up enough to write something new.

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