27 June, 2006

Rom-Com Project #6

Never has the term "progress bar" seemed so ironic. It just sits there on the right at 25%; ever unchanging. Mocking me. Taking the piss. Calling me cruel, cruel names.

I finished my pre-writing stage - or so I thought - but I just couldn't carry on. I decided to listen to my sub-conscious and not force it. Was my hesitancy fear of it being rubbish? Was it simply that my football will always be more important than my writing? Or was I simply glossing over major story problems? All of the above, to a certain extent, but the biggie was the story.

The midpoint in my outline was all to do with the external conflict and it left Ziggy and Amanda just going along happily. If I was bored writing it then I'm pretty much sure that the audience would be bored watching it. I needed a threat to the relationship before the end of act 2. I needed to make it less cosy and make Ziggy have to actively choose Amanda. The obvious solution is another character who can try and tempt him away. Vix. She's a fox and his ex.

While I have talked about a vague three act structure being OK, it's only because I've been told that. Personally, I've been unable to be so casual. For security, I've needed to fit my story into that structure and know the exact right act breaks and turning points. However, this fit can be like a square peg into a round hole when maybe square holes can be good stories too.

I've recently found articles by Alex Epstein and Craig Mazin which have made me think more about being more flexible and to try flying without such a huge safety net. They're very persuasive arguments.


Optimistic_Reader said...

Rom-coms are tough, no doubt about it! Keep plugging away at it though, and I'm sure you'll get there in the end. I've been finding similar problems as you - it was a bit too easy for the characters I wanted to get together, to actually get together, even though I thought I'd given them a major obstacle. The supporting characters really are crucial I'm finding. I think mine will be more of a romantic dramedy when I'm done!

What sort of stuff do you usually write? Is rom-com a big departure for you?

Robin Kelly said...

I usually write dramedy but I want to learn how to do proper out and out laugh out loud funny because it's the hardest thing to do.

When I see good supporting characters in films they make me sit up and take notice because they are so rare. They're the ones not just there for plot reasons but feel like people in their own right with their own wants and desires.

Congrats on finishing your outline, by the way.

Optimistic_Reader said...


I think out and out comedy is too much of a stretch for me so I'm sticking with the dramedy approach!

Robin Kelly said...

Well, yours might end up being funnier than you think and mine might be less funny than I think. I'm quite prepared to pretend I intended to write a serious drama all along!

Lucy said...

Hey, guess what.


Apparently it's an "acidic comedy".

So at least it's funny...