Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Writing Week (Vol. 5) part 235 - Stuck in the Muck

Curse you, Act Three! Two projects I'm working on this month, and on both of them I slammed head first into a very big and seemingly insurmountable wall after wrapping Act Two. The torture! Three days spent staring at a blinking cursor on the demon thriller, writing a couple lines for some throwaway description, only to follow it up with the ever-depressing...

BEAT HERE? my next slugg line. From page 90 on, my script looks like a dalmatian. Every other page is dotted with bolded question marks and stopgaps to remind me to come back and focus attention on them. On Saturday morning, I churned out 6 rapid fire, usable pages. On Sunday, I scraped together 2. Monday saw 1, which I know is going to get deleted right off, and I think I got through  3 on Tuesday. 

It's not so much the low page count that irks me, though, as it is the fact that Act Three should write itself by this point. When Act Three is on the fritz, the problem is inevitably embedded in Act One. There are three other BEAT placeholders throughout the earlier portion of the script, and I have a very good feeling that some B or C story should fill those holes. More so, I know that whatever goes into those beats will lead to a successful third act. I hate adding what I feel are gratuitous sequences or even scenes, though. "Why is this in here? It's not furthering the plot." Breaking up beats isn't a sufficient answer, but if your ending's not working, you can bet that you're missing something earlier on.

There was some good to come out of the week, though. I "finished" Act Two for the demon thriller (finished is a relative term, since I know I'll have to do rewrites), so even though I'm kind of stuck now, I'm about 10 pages out from the end and I have almost a week in which to finish it. Yay for that. Also, I finally got the revised outline to my collaborator on the sci-fi project. I kept hitting the same late Act Two into Act Three obstacles with that project, but I think I sort of came upon a solution this week. We'll see what my writing partner says. And, if nothing else, that's one project temporarily off my desk, which frees me up for undivided focus on the intractable demon thriller for the remainder of the 30 Day Screenplay Challenge.