Monday, March 12, 2012

The Writing Week (Vol. 5) part 218 - Well, That's a First

After months of little to no activity, it feels amazing to have a project that I'm excited about and making continual headway on. The demon thriller outline is off to my manager and a few Leaguers for a second opinion, which has allowed me to immerse myself in the sci-fi collaboration I'm working on with a known director/writer/actor (W.A.). This is a completely new experience for me - writing based on someone else's idea - and I have to say it's been pretty rewarding so far.

Initially, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Before I even got the treatment pages, I was psyching myself out. "What if I don't deliver? What if I can't do it or don't like the idea?" All for naught. When a mutual producer paired W.A. and I, she knew what she was doing. I took to the idea quickly, and W.A. took to my suggestions. Sure, there were some things I was unclear on and elements that I didn't think were necessary any more, but to his credit, W.A. was all ears. He gave me free reign to do what I thought best, and for the past week and a bit, that's what I've been doing.

Starting from a pre-existing 22 page document makes the writing a lot easier in the planning stage. I know which characters I have at my disposal, which I won't need, and where any gaps might be. The same for plot points. In fact, the outlining has come pretty naturally. I think W.A. will be pleased by the fact that most of the structure he put in place remains, if only altered or streamlined. I think I've simplified certain things and cut extraneous elements, but the foundation of the story is untouched. I've been zipping through the latter half of act two and act three, and every beat seems both organic and necessary. There's very little fat that I can see.

However, I'm still missing 25% of the outline. Oddly, that quarter is the first half of act two. Rarely - if ever - is this the problematic portion of a screenplay. Act Two should coat along until the midpoint, when pages 60-70 drag you down and make you want to pull your hair out while drinking yourself into an early grave. This go 'round, though, I cruised right on past that. The second half of the script is - if anything - a little overwhelming in terms of how much happens, but it's all necessary, far as I can tell. 

So why is the first half of act two vacant still? I hope that doesn't mean that it's going to be dull. The rest was just so exciting to write, though, and flowed so naturally. Nah... I think I'll be fine. I just got swept up in the resolution, and knowing how tough it can be to write a compelling climax, I don't mind having that part done already. 

I just hope W.A. is as keen on it as I am.