Tuesday, June 06, 2006

14: the story so far

Certain people have shown some concern that they are barely at double figures in their screenplay page count. I’m surfacing to tell you guys not to worry. This hearty competitor is yet to reach double pages.

I haven’t posted on this development, not for shame, but only because I haven’t given myself the time to be reflexive or self-aware, or let doubt arise.

Here’s how it’s going:

  • Pre kick-off:

  • I resolve to get the four year idea of Lyonesse rising out of my system once and for all. As there is no time to research WW1 further I decide to update the setting to modern day. This proves harder than I imagined, and two weeks later, after innumerable false starts, and half hour before the starting pistol, I finalise my logline:

    When his girlfriend announces that she's pregnant, Chris prepares to do what he does best and bail, but the army of Hell invades his sleepy town and cuts off his escape, so he must take responsibility if he is to avert the apocalypse and save them all.

    It's all I have.

  • Day one:

  • A broad outline of the opening section. I write the first scene to meet my protagonist and to see if i have any writing chops at all. I'm quite pleased with the result.

  • Day two:

  • A broad outline of the closing section. It's the old collapsing lair routine. I catch The Mummy on BBC1 and there it is in all its big budget glory. So I realise the only way to get through this in a hurry is to leave no trope unturned, no cliche unlicked.

  • Day three:

  • A broad outline of the middle section. Christ, my balls ache. Doing what I want for once has really given me the horn. Or maybe I should reposition my laptop.

  • Day four:

  • I line up the beginning, middle and end in their correct order. Gaping plot holes became apparent. I pride myself that my hasty, expedient solutions are both narratively and thematically satisfying. All this done at work while being called a "fucking joker," by arsehole customers. Have a large drink when I get home.

    Feel I have enough to put together a beat sheet. And I do. Six 15 minute sequences of 8 beats each. Pleased as punch. Have a large drink.

    Write up progress. Still plenty of time to get a few pages done tonight. I feel like a large drink first, though.

    Ten more days. Ten pages a day, and a day for tidying things up.

    This day all doubt dies.

    Category: Writing


    1. It's definitly getting to game time
      great planning has never been my forte but I'm still confident

    2. I'm rubbish at planning too. I'm convinced I'm going to hit a wall by the time I get to around page 50 or so. But that's still a way off so I'm going to just keep going. I have plot holes, characters who serve no purpose and lots of dialogue. When this draft does get finished, much, much re-writing will be called for.

    3. I'm making a strong effort to keep the dialogue to a minimum, as I've been far too verbose in the past.

      Because I don't have time or space to invent distinctive voices for my characters, I'm writing them as the broadest stereotypes ever, just to get something on the page.

      Hopefully I'll have time to rewrite some of this before the 17th.

    4. No! No rewriting until after the deadline! Keep your head down, and plough through it. If you start fiddling, it'll take too long and you won't finish in time, and that way madness lies. Or, you know, more madness. Good luck!

    5. Yes, no rewriting here either - in fact no writing at all! I'm worried about getting stuck in act 2 (among other things) Stereotypes rule!

    6. Don't be alarmed - no rewriting will take place until I FADE OUT, but if I can stick to my daily quota that might be well enough in advance of the deadline to let me tidy up a bit.

      The phrase "stick to my daily quota" most likely has everyone rolling on the floor about now, but I don't care. I'll do it.


      I can't stress this enough. Don't think about it too much. You have it on paper. Follow that lead.

    8. man i just had a bad dominos and took it back cuz the cheese was nasty ass and stunk like yesterdays vomit macaroni oh shit wrong blog!!!!

      p.s keep writing you cretin

    9. Anonymous I feel for you. I once had a nasty chicken kebab from a disreputable trader and it wasn't safe to eat or drink for a week after.

      Recommended only as a fast way to lose weight and experience shamanic delusions. And if you want to listen to the same CD over and over again because you can't get up to change it.