Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Writing Week (Vol. 6) part 254 - A New Year, A New Outline

Happy New Year! Off, it's been a while since my last post. I guess the end of 2012 saw me veer off schedule with these "weekly" updates. No more - I am trying to get back on track! At the very least, though The Writing Weeks might have fallen off track, I'm happy to report that my writing itself did not.

Where to start? The end of December was actually pretty exciting/interesting. For one, we decided to do another push with the post-Apocalyptic spec. As far as I know, we got a couple reads over the holidays, which ideally I'll have some updates on by the end of next week. One of the people reading is actually a manager, which will be interesting. (If you've been reading, you know I have reps in LA already, but I got the requisite go-ahead to send, so we'll see what happens.) He is someone I was in touch with years ago when I was fresh out of school. My material wasn't ready at that point, especially the script that he read then, and I recognize that now. Naturally, I had high hopes, and he responded generously, but we didn't wind up working together. Looking back on that script, that's no surprise to me at all. I'll be the first to admit that screenplay was not ready for industry attention. Perhaps the second time will be the charm. I certainly like to think I've grown much stronger as a writer in the ensuing years.

The sci-fi collaboration hit a bit of a bump at the end of the year. A (very) similar project was announced at a major studio. Well, perhaps that needs some qualification. A studio picked up the rights to some material that is strikingly similar. I won't speculate as to why it might be eerily akin to ours, as it's not really my place, but it was - to say the least - a shock. My writing partner and the producer who paired us agree that our best plan is just to push forward and produce a polished screenplay before the other project comes to fruition. We have too much invested to stop, and neither my partner nor I want to. I have no way of knowing what the outcome will be, other than to tell you that the immediate result was a fire lit right under my butt.

Sitting above the flames, I cranked out a revised outline for the project in question over the holiday week. The second half of the script remained largely the same, structurally. In fact, much of the script did, but I made a lot of adjustments earlier on, since we decided to skew toward a slightly younger audience and wanted to emphasize the science elements, rather than the action ones. My writing partner and I already had another hour discussion on the new outline, emphasizing the big points we want to hit that weren't called out in the outline, which are mostly emotional. End result: I started revising last night and am aiming for the draft to be done by the end of the month (knock on wood). 

How is your 2013 starting?