06 June, 2006

14 Day Screenplay: Progress Report #1

I admit I was a bit too casual and so I'm behind. I wasn't happy with my beat sheet until Sunday and so didn’t start writing until Monday.

I was dithering because although I like my story, I didn't have a name for the main character I was happy with (it's particularly important in this story) and I was unsure my second act was interesting enough. Legitimate things to think about, certainly. Pointless pathetic procrastination, most definitely.

Once I started typing and my character spoke, a better name came to me, as if by magic. Yes, those fifty or so pages you have to fill in the middle is certainly not easy but it's a lot easier if the characters are real and their story is sound enough. Anyway, should it come in under time, and drag more than a female impersonator on 60 ciggies a day, then that's what re-writes are for. It’s way too early to worry about things like that.

You're not supposed to look back and revise and I haven’t but there's one particular gag, I just couldn’t help going back from time to time to tweak and try and make funnier.

I also started without doing full biographies of the characters just knowing their function in the story, what makes them tick psychologically and having something fresh about them. My hero's window/reflective character has gone from being his probation officer in the beat sheet to his married sister with a kid in the script. That last version actually fits the story so much better on so many levels but was a decision I made while writing.

I’ve got my cute-meet scene coming up and I can’t wait. It’s a good sign if the comic idea in the beat makes you laugh rather than needing to desperately wring laughs from it. I know you’re not supposed to laugh at your own jokes and you should be modest about your talents but it’s flipping hilarious and I’m a blooming genius. And I’ll believe that until the day I die. Or until several script readers tell me otherwise. Whichever comes first.

OK, I don't want to get too cocky, I've only done 7 pages and I'm two days behind and the World Cup starts on Friday but, like Sven, I'm quietly confident my preparation will result in triumph.

14 Day Screenplay Advice:

Dave Anaxagoras

Joel Haber


Optimistic_Reader said...

I just came along to leave a nagging comment about the absence of a progress report, but you got in there just in the nick of time!
I couldn't name my lead character either and whittled away almost all of my preparation time trying to think if the right name. Feeling very foolish about that now.

Keep up the good work!

Robin Kelly said...

Cheers, you too. It's funny how we think we are being uniquely foolish and then realise every other writer has been foolish in the exact same way.

Optimistic_Reader said...

yep, we can't even make original mistakes!

Dom Carver said...

Are we allowed World Cup breaks?

Robin Kelly said...

There had better be!

Actually, the thing is there's 24 hours in which to fit in your two hours. I'm lucky in that I realise my best time to write is in the mornings so I'm OK. I just need to go to be a bit more disciplined about it and go to bed earlier and get up earlier.

Hopefully the discipline will be ingrained in me so it continues past the 17th.