Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday night

Lying on my bed with a laptop resting on my gut probably doesn’t count as work, but what the hell? My head hurts. As long as I’m doing something.

Season Six of the The West Wing has just started on More4. I only joined the ranks of the digitally enabled this weekend, so I’ve gone from Season Four on C4 to this, completely missing Season Five. It was okay, lots of hand-held camera work, generally more combative dialogue and not a single gag in the opening two parter. No, not even from Toby. Did I miss some incredibly important plot point that put the cast at odds with each other, or is this just the new direction, sans Sorkin?

Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be story-breaking, not being broken, but this is hard. I’ve been trying to do two hours a night, and just finding that two hours hasn’t been easy, but no-one wants to hear excuses. Like, I’ve been promoted at work, and am more tired than usual when I get home. Bah. Anyway, I’ve tried mapping out episode one and before I really got anywhere I could see that I had too much material, but not enough story. It was boring, so I’ve lopped away a third of my beats, narrowed my focus to the war at home (and I promise I’ll explain what all this is about sometime), erased several characters from existence and in so doing re-written remaining characters’ backstories, and introduced one or two new cads to bring conflict to the fore.

This has been a very slow process so far, with lots of dead ends. Hopefully, as I do more, my story instincts will sharpen and I won’t end up wandering so many blind alleys. Until then, I’m just going to have to find out what doesn’t work the old fashioned way. I’ve got time.

Category: Writing

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