Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nega-writing


Over the weekend, I believe I may have actually nega-written.

After two solid, drawn-out sessions in front of Final Draft, I came out with a lower page count than I went in with. The fruits of the weekend's labors amounted me taking out two already-written scenes and replacing them with entirely new ones.

In the course of writing any first draft, I fall into a pattern of compulsive self-editing. I wouldn't be surprised if every page I write is composed of the chopped-up remains of three others.

I keep a separate document for every script where I keep copies of all of the scenes that I cut for one reason or another. In many cases there may be something I liked in them that just wasn't right for the overall story, or it was an early idea that was later pushed out of the way for something I thought of later and just liked more. I keep copies of these scenes in case I can use them elsewhere, either in another place in the same screenplay or for a different project altogether.

I noted today that the "deleted scenes" document has just passed 30 pages for my current project, and I've yet to finish my first draft. Should I be alarmed?

5 comments:

Onyx Enforcer said...

That's awesome. Keep going until the deleted scenes file is 90 pages. You'll submit that as a script by accident and win an oscar.

DOA said...

I actually kind of want to read your deleted scenes script. Seems like it'd be a fun surreal thing to read.

Zombie said...

Ha, I think you're on to something... If I insert a few Fade to:'s in between the unrelated scenes, I may have a decent script for a surreal student film.

alexsegura said...

Interesting. I find those bouts of heavy editing to usually be productive. Maybe you could just go with the deleted scenes and title it that?

Zombie said...

Hm, maybe I will send it around. I'm not embarrassed of anything in there - just some of it doesn't seem right for the work.

Now I'm getting a little paranoid that the nonsensical deleted scenes script will be more interesting than the actual project...