Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Go Outside Script Progress

The second draft of my vampire horror script is finished.  I sent it off to my writing group, the Laurels, to rip apart.  None of them are screenwriters, but at least one of them has experience in theater, so that helps.  But I figure a novel writer should be able to comment on a script just as easily as a filmmaker.  Both scriptwriters and novelists have to worry about plot, pacing, structure, good dialog, strong characters, correct grammar and so on.  I also gave them three pages worth of questions I had about the script in case they weren't sure what to comment on.  In retrospect, I probably gave them too many questions!  They ended up opting to break the script critiquing into two sessions, so I didn't get all of the dirt when we met Sunday.

But despite not getting it all, the group has given me back their comments and, as per usual, I'm floored at how much everyone has to say.  I've never had a problem with this group being tight-lipped with my other projects, and things weren't different for this one, either.  So now to go digest all of their feedback:  "Is this a parody?"  "Not creepy."  "Predictable so far."  "Cut out the beginning and focus on what you start in the middle."   And, while it is easy to be defensive of something I've worked sooo hard on, I know they are right.  Dang it.

Now I need to fix the problems. I would be deluding myself if I thought after only two drafts my script would be polished and wonderful.  HA!  Writing needs lots of reworking before it becomes great.  And anything less than great won't sell. 

So, I'll let it sit in a drawer for a while so it can percolate in my brain.  Especially since I won't get the rest of the feedback until next month.  Last time I got feedback, which was at the table reading toward the end of September, I let it sit for about a month before I really started working on it again.  I find I need that time for the story and comments to sink into my subconscious.  I dream about it or think of it while I'm walking and suddenly solutions present themselves.  If I try to stare at the screen and write just after my script has been critiqued, I just end up staring at the screen, not knowing where to start.

I'll probably end up starting the re-write process just in time for the new year.

When you are in the re-write phase of a project, what do you do?  Do you plow through it?  Or do you table it and get back to it later, like I do? What helps you with re-writes?  When do you finally consider something done?

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