Monday, December 07, 2009

The Writing Week (Vol. 2) part 101 - Revised First Act on a Blank Deadline

Because the development deal I've entered into is for no money, there aren't any official deadlines or time frames on either party's part. I can take as much time as I need to in order to rewrite the script (though it's in my best interest to work quickly), and the Production Company I'm working with has as much time after I turn in the revised script to decide what if anything they want to do with that. This scenario is both good and bad.

On the one hand, as I said, I have the time to think things out and really make sure that every word I put down on the page belongs there. At the same time, though, I'm acutely aware that the opportunity handed to me is rare and that I really have to nail it, and do so professionally. People's retention spans are only so long, and since there's no financial pressure on the part of the Production Company, if I fade too far from sight, I might not be able to get back. That is why when it was suggested that I turn in a revised first act a week or two after my last development call (which was just before Thanksgiving), I got back into the swing of things immediately.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of outlines. Well, I should clarify. I truly believe in the benefits of outlining; I just find actually sitting down and writing an outline to be an incredibly difficult task. Of course, this is because outlining means figuring out the skeleton of your story, while sometimes allowing wiggle room and natural changes later on during the actual writing process. With doing these re-writes, though, I knew that in order to get this script into the hands of people willing to pay me for it, I had to take the outlining and re-writing incredibly seriously. The result - I wound up spending more time on the outline than I had expected, almost a week past when I intended to begin reworking Act One.

The changes to the first act so far have not been very extensive. Structurally, the first 25 pages are essentially unchanged. It's in the dialogue and the visuals that certain tweaks have been made. However small they may seem, I hope that my producer (who I emailed the pages to last night) feels that they do the trick. In reality, it probably won't be until I've had a chance to move from outline to actual writing of Act Two that I'll better know whether Act One is working. Either way, I'm eager to get into Act Two and do some major re-writing (it's almost like writing a new script)!

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