The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ready. Set. Slow!

So I’m all pumped up to write my second draft. I've built up my energy via the outline I constructed, gaining potential energy with each reengineered scene. I hoped that when I finally started drafting, the dam would burst and words would gush out of me.

No such luck.

I’m exposing my inexperience here, and that’s OK, because this blog is about chronicling the struggles of an emerging writer*. What I didn’t take into account was that while quickly writing the first draft I smoothed over problem areas and ignored others. There were scenes where the escalating conflict wasn’t easy to illustrate so I would either use a cliché or write on-the-nose dialogue to get me through to the next scene. Now, I’m attempting to write something I can show other writers, so I’m taking time to get scenes right. Newsflash! That takes a little time. Right now, I’m probably averaging closer to three pages a day which is off of the five or better I was expecting.

I’m at the end of Act I, and so far the page count is on pace with my bloated 165 page first draft. I’m trying hard not to panic. After all, Act I was fairly developed in my mind and it shouldn’t be surprising that the addition/subtraction that went on yielded roughly the same result page wise. I’m fully expecting that Act II will see a substantial reduction in pages. In fairy tale script land, Act II will end at around Page 98-100, giving me just 20 pages to wrap up the story in time for the credits.

On a side note, with this draft I’ve started using Google Calendar to chart my writing time. Yes, this is a scary idea and means that I will see all the time I wrote (and didn’t write). It means I won’t be able to claim I wrote 30 pages in 12 hours in one day unless I did (unlikely). At the end I will be able to chart my progress, and develop some metrics that perhaps I can aim at beating the next time around.

For the record writing does not only constitute the explicit act of word creation but also embodies time I specifically devote to crafting my story. This does not count thoughts that pop into my head while I’m on the john or in the car or negotiating a unilateral disarmament treaty with the Hessians. This is the specific time I block out to sit in a chair or pace around a room with the specific intent of crafting a story. Oh, and the actual word creation part as well.

Right now my calendar is private, but I may separate it out and make it public, so that others might be able to see it and laugh and point and judge about how I’m not dedicated to the craft. When I succeed, it may serve as a guide to others. Should I fall, it may mark potholes to avoid. Either way it should be useful.

As for the script, I thought I’d be done some time in September. Now I’m hoping I’ll be done before Austin. Hopefully I’ll finish in time to recraft my logline and develop a 90 second pitch that will win me the pitch competition…again. Only this time I’ll be without my writing partner and a big part of what made last year’s pitch successful. It’ll be an uphill climb for sure.

* Yes emerging. If I don’t believe in myself, who will?


  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger L.R. Williams said…

    You do the best you can with this. It sounds as if you hit a few bumps in the road, but you know better than I that this is not easy. I do like the idea of tracking your progress w/ a calendar to show what you've done. You know I wish you the best in completing this.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    I wouldn't call them bumps. More like...discoveries.

  • At 9:50 PM, Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said…

    Oh, the fink! The fink! But who, indeed, will believe in you if not him?*

    How did it turn out with the Hessians?


  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    Hessian assimilation has been averted for another few years.

    No one knows how much of a threat the Hessians are. Thanks to me, no one will.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Chesher Cat said…

    Welcome to the realities of 'from head/heart to page'.

  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said…

    You'll work through it. I have faith in you, brother. Also, with Invincible doing decent Box Office, that's only good news for your script. Now finish it!


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