Friday, May 10, 2013

The Writing Week (Vol. 6) part 269 - Another Leg of the Journey

I think today officially marks 15 months that I have been working on the sci-fi script with my writing partner, W.A. The project has taken more twists and turns than I can count in that time. We developed nearly ten major versions of the outline. I wrote three substantial drafts. I've done smaller scale revisions of all of those.

I think we're in the home stretch... for now. 

A few weeks back (actually, it's more like a month and a half ago at this point), we got the second major draft of the script to our producer. To her, it was a first draft. She praised it, by saying the issues we had to address were "second draft problems." If that sounds like a slight to you, I assure you that it's not. Whatever incarnation of a script your producer, manager, agent, or director sees first is the first draft to them - even if you've written a dozen drafts of it prior to showing it the light of day.

W.A. and I chatted about her notes over the next couple of days. The outcome of those discussions, coupled with our producer's notes? A fresh draft. I thought the changes were going to be minimal. All but perhaps five pages wound up having revision marks on them. Final Draft defaults to doing revisions in blue text. Entire pages were blue by the time I was done. Rather than hunt for the changes, you would have done better to hunt for uncorrupted black text. 

The changes were, comparatively, minimal. 

Still, we had more work to do. W.A. read the new draft, and then we got back on the phone. He liked much of it, but a few things came to light for him. The biggest issue was that the leading science elements of the script weren't working. They came in too late and didn't track. Or they were incomplete. Or they just didn't fit within the context of the new draft. The rest was pretty sturdy, and we certainly weren't about to duct tape the science on as an afterthought, but it was necessary. We had to make it work. I have to make it work. 

That's where I am now. I head to Belgium to visit friends on Wednesday, so I have four more days and nights to complete my edits. The good news is that, after last night's work and today's session, I feel like it's in a good place. I think the Wednesday deadline is doable. Whether I'll come back from Europe with another round of rewrites remains to be seen.