Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Writing Week (Vol. 6) part 265 - Re-Writes Galore

Somewhere out there is the finish line for my sci-fi spec. I can almost see it. Maybe not quite on the horizon, but not wildly far beyond it. 

Last week, my writing partner and I had two days of phone calls to go over the page notes our producer gave us. There was a lot to cover, but in a strange way, the repetition of some of her points was a comfort. She hit a few big notes time and again, stressing what (we agreed) was missing from the script, and where the characters were falling short of being fully developed. Yes, the result was a lot of mark-up, but the fact that her observations can be boiled down to about a half-dozen issues was encouraging. We were on the same page by and large with most of her thoughts, and the fact that they kept coming up throughout the script was an indicator of what the screenplay needs to really come to life. No matter how much proverbial red ink one might scribble on your script, having someone who knows the industry and - more importantly - know story weigh in on your screenplay is a giant blessing. 

So, for me, the re-write process began yet again last week. I'll admit, it's been a bit more of a laborious few days than I'm used to; I've not been making a ton of progress (or really much at all to speak of some days), but I think I've identified why that is. The environmentalist in me hates printing scripts out again and again for each round of revisions. However, the writer in me is increasingly incapable of delving into rewrites without a hard copy of the script in front of him that he can mark-up and cross out and insert new hand-written dialogue into. 

What to do? Print out another 120 pages? Or sit inertly before the flashing cursor in Final Draft, making minimal progress each day? 

Before I set it all to print again, I'm trying two things. First, there are large chunks of the script that necessitate edits, but which didn't change too much at all since last I printed the thing. My first step is going to be to see how much I can edit from there. Alternatively, there are a couple PDF annotation apps available for iPad, so Google tells me, which I am going to check out tonight. If those work, I'll get all the benefit of a hard copy script to scribble on, without any of the tree killing that comes with it.

Of course, at the end of the day, completing the script is the priority, so if the above two fail (and I'll admit with you that the recycled script option is less than ideal), I'll print the thing. I guess I'll just have to do extra scribbling on it to make up for it.