Tuesday, May 13, 2008


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?