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Friday, January 22, 2010

It Trickles

Well, the word is starting to trickle it's way back to me -- my dear readers have had their time with the first draft of my spec pilot and the news is... not horrible.

Which, hey, I'll take it.

My biggest fear was that I'd over (or under) shot this thing and would need a full-on page 1 to even think about doing this concept justice.

The good news is that, yeah, I probably don't need that.

The bad news is that I'm definitely going to have to do some structural work here.

I always find it funny that the characters I think are working well are never the ones that actually end up making the grade. In this case, most of my main characters have been reported as 'archetypes' while my secondary characters are having way more pull to them.

Also, a whole important subplot that I thought 'wow, this is going to be so cool' is, well, sucking pretty hardcore. I'd put so much work into getting this big dramatic reveal out the door that I didn't really stop to ask 'hey, step back from this for a sec and see how this works big-picture-style'.

That, folks, is why you have to have a dedicated team of trusted readers. People who you know are not screwing with you (even when you secretly hope they are). They call you on your shit and say 'Hey, really? You though this was going to work?' (usually a lot more nicer than that).

The rest of the feedback's coming this weekend, the ol' writer's group is getting together for the first time since the New Year. I have to admit that I'm rather intrigued to see what they thought as well.

Until then I just have to console myself with one of the true immutable laws of the universe:

First drafts suck.

However, they're also that all-important building block, that first peg in the ground -- the tip that sets the ball in motion inside your subconscious while you're busy buttering toast or fixing your car or sewing buttons on jumpsuits.

In truth, hardest thing to get over after stinky first draft is... well... myself.

'Cause it's easy to get lost in what I did wrong, where I screwed up or how I will ultimately die alone and un-produced as a wretched failure of a human being.

It's infinitely harder to kick that lil' bugger in the junk (really, wretched failure of a human being?!) sit back down at the keyboard and put on the ol' construction hat.

Still, it's gotta be done... and it's only one tiny step in the larger process ahead... so might as well get to it.

Or, as was bequeathed to me from the hallowed words of my most-honoured ancestors:

"Suck it up and get back to work"

Yes, I guess the 'basking' phase is officially over.


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