Monday, March 28, 2011

The Writing Week (Vol. 4) part 169 - Completed My Next Outline

After a long couple of weeks in which moss seemed to grow all over my horror spec's outline, I switched over to my medieval action idea. I'm pleased to say that, unlike it's belligerent brother, this one seemed to come together naturally for me. It was a pleasant change of pace.

Of course, nothing's ever perfect. I spoke to my manager today, and he brought up some good points about it. Act Three (really, the last third of the outline) works well. However, the bits and pieces leading up to it - you know, just act one and the majority of act two - still need attention. I actually had an inkling something like this was going to happen, because I felt too confidently about the script; and if experience tells me anything, it's that the projects I believe to be the least flawed are often the ones that people most rapidly point out the shortcomings of. And I am glad they do.

In this case, my manager made some good points about my protagonist being too saintly. He lives in a world where corruption and murder are commonplace, and I tried to set him apart from all of it. The truth, though, is that I didn't fully flesh out either his backstory or what I was trying to achieve with certain early beats. A protagonist shouldn't be without faults. That's, like, writing 101 (and despite that, it's easy to overlook it sometimes). Not that my guy's totally pure in this script; quite the opposite, in fact. Only, I did a crappy job of getting that point across, and my manager was spot on in calling me on that, especially since I hope to delve into pages soon.

Similarly, my act two - that evil, no good, bully of an act - needs more. It's a simple story, really, but that doesn't mean a simpleton should be able to write it. In order to forge a compelling world and sympathetic characters, I need more from the plot. Another forehead smacking duh. 

The good news is my mind is already working hard at solving the protagonist issue. It's quite possible - nay, probable - that the fixes to act two will come from the improvements to the character and the events unfolding in act one. One thing will naturally follow the other, like weight loss from exercise or regrettable texts from too many pitchers. The other bit of good news is that this project has risen above the horror one (which I still have some major holdups about) as the likely contender for my next script. Now just to work out a few kinks, and hopefully pages will spring forth soon.