I read through my first draft again. It took me long enough (about four days). All in all, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't as painful as I was sure it was going to be.
Thursday came and went far more comfortably than I had anticipated. Like a band-aid that needs to be ripped off, I was not looking forward to our meeting, because I had it in my mind that the notes were going to be hard to swallow. This was only the second (maybe third) time I'd shown pages to the League, and was the first time since I wrote Act One. The notes I got at that last meeting didn't prevent me from making headway, but they sure gave me a lot to think about. I was sure going into Thursday that I was going to be told the project simply wasn't working.
Zombie, who couldn't make the meeting, got to me first. He called it a really solid draft, which I sort of made him say another six times before I began to feel comfortable with that thought. At that point, I hadn't yet re-read it for myself, so I wasn't sure I could believe him. Then the meeting came, and DOA told me that she hadn't thought my idea was workable, but the draft made her re-consider that opinion. The rest of the notes were just as supportive, critical where necessary, and, more than anything else, helpful.
It wasn't until I read the pages again that I saw just how right everyone was. Act Two was and is the biggest problem with the script, but that's not uncommon. Backer had a suggestion, which LoKor and the others elaborated upon, which will really help to tie the episodic format of Act Two together and raise the stakes for something that happens at the beginning of Act Three. It was a very solid note. Onyx suggested something, which the others helped shed insight upon, which will clarify a lot about the world and the time frame in which the characters are operating.
All told, I came away from the meeting unburdened and excited. I had planned on setting this project aside (I was worried of the work I thought I'd have to do on it and had come up with a new project, a comedy for a change, that I wanted to begin on). After the meeting, though, I was ready to get back to work on the script. I wasn't as far off as I had imagined, and the ideas would be easy yet strong enough to rapidly turn the script into something much more marketable. It's true, I would like to begin work on the comedy soon, but I think it can wait. Or, I can work on it simultaneously.
Last night, after finishing reading the final FADE OUT, I got to thinking. Five years ago, three years even, the draft I turned out would have been an entire semester or year's worth of work at school. Now, though, I did it in just under two months, and I was quite pleased with the outcome. Likewise, the notes are incredibly insightful. They targeted the obvious and more hidden problems within the pages and addressed how to fix them in quite effective ways. It's incredible to me how far we as individual writers have come through practice and sticking with it.
I wonder where we'll be in another five years...