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Monday, February 20, 2012

And We're OFF!

So, Friday ended up being one of those special sorts of days where not a whole lot got accomplished.  On the bright side, Saturday was a fair shake better.

I sent off my completed vomit draft to my writing group for some quick feedback and man did that ever pay off in spades.

Remember how I managed to come up about 10 pages short (actually, looking at it again, it's more like 8)?  Yeah, it turns out that I omitted a whole major scene.  I'm not sure how I missed that but, essentially, one of the characters (Josie) goes missing for 13 pages.  I apparently glossed over the entire part where the Doctor and his team go looking for the little girl who got lost in the catacombs.

Yeah... not my finest moment, but, on the bright side, a quick fix this morning easily puts me in the 58 page range.  Excuse me whilst I smack my forehead while uttering 'duh' sounds.

The group also gave me some fantastic notes about my Dragon (not mean enough), my team (too freaking callous) and my Father character (too weak).

See, what I'd tried to do in the vomit draft was make it so that by the end of the episode, you really felt for the Dragon, that there was a sense that there were monsters down there but they didn't necessarily have scales.

Apparently I was far too effective in this.  See, about 3/4 through the script I've got a scene where these locals are being charged by the Dragon.  They're pretty much dead meat -- so in order to save their lives, one of the team starts smashing the Dragon's eggs to draw the Dragon's attention.  This works as advertised -- except for the fact that I set it up too well that this Dragon was the last of its kind.  The response I ended up eliciting from the reader was 'holy crap!  Stop it, you jerk!'.  I'd built up so much sympathy for the Dragon that this action was, well, pretty damned callous.

So now I'm working on my 2nd Draft, making changes which should help make the story stronger as well.

Some of the changes are minor - as in changing some dialogue to be less revealing; others are rather huge - like swapping a whole character out of a scene.

But the mantra here is 'stronger, better, faster' and so, as long as these changes contribute to that, then yeah, I'm more than happy to spill the sweat required to make it happen.

One of the bigger problems for me has been to try and decide if the script should have Act Breaks or not.  As I've mentioned before, the British version is very much like a cable script - 50-odd minutes straight-on through.  The BBC America version ended up having a teaser and 5 act breaks.  The version I've written so far has no act breaks, just straight-on-through story... What I think I'll end up doing is, once this is done, I'll go back through and make an 'Act Break' version.  It's actually not that hard to do, the raw materials for it were built into the Outline... and, maybe it'll be something worth hanging onto.  (An interesting exercise at the very least).

Anyways, this week I'm hitting full-on 2nd draft mode on this script so, with a bit of luck, I'll manage to finish up this draft by Sunday.  Fingers are officially crossed.


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