My eyes, they have been opened

Due to time constraints, I was only able to work on one scene, but it kicks off a subplot, so I wanted to make sure it set things up properly.

I had it planned as less than a page, but it was getting too close to almost a page and a half, which was way too much.  I erased the whole thing and remembered the adage “get in late, get out early.” I started over with just after the scene started, cut a little bit here and there, and ended where it served the scene and hopefully effectively set up the subplot, as well as before I started rambling.  End result – just under a page.

It really helped to write it out, then step back and figure how to tighten it up and get rid of anything that didn’t belong.  I don’t plan on doing this for every scene; just where it may be necessary.

It also made me realize there’s something different I want to do with the opening scene, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make those changes, then get back on track.

Slow, steady, etc.

vital part of a self-editor's arsenal

Got to page 6, followed by the realization that scenes I had designated in the outline as, say half a page, were turning out more like three-quarters to almost a whole page. This could put a serious dent in my plan to fit the next 5 scenes into the next 4 pages. I suspect I’ll have some serious editing to do. I hope I don’t have to cut scenes, but if I do, so be it.

-Since Netflix drastically raised their rates, we’ve gone to the 1-disc/unlimited streaming plan. It’ll take some getting used to, since it was nice being able to finish one disc, send it back, watch the next one the next day, then get the first one’s replacement the day after that. Now we send it back, then deal with the 2-day gap.

I suspect I’ll watch more TV series via streaming since that appears to be an easier option.

On a whim, we checked out an episode of the old Spider-Man cartoon from the 60s. While the animation is still pretty simple, the colors looked brand spanking new. Really bold and vibrant.

This may finally be the kick in the pants I need to finally check out Battlestar Galactica.

Still going strong

Yeah. Kind of like that...

Except for the very last scene, I’ve made it through a revamped outline of Act One.  I know I’ve said this before, but the scenes really do seem to move along at a somewhat brisker pace.  I also noticed how a lot of extra, unnecessary action has been cut.

There’s always this feeling of…accomplishment when I rewrite something in a completely different way. Not only does it still work, but it works better.  That’s kind of how it feels with this.

The goal now is to get the actual pages done, which may not take as long as I think. At least that’s how it seems.

Since I’m working extended shifts this week and next, my “get it done at work” mode has been severely inhibited.  I’ll try to make some progress with tightening things up for at least the first half of Act Two during that time. My editing hat sits at the ready.

-Movie of the Moment – MY ONE AND ONLY, a drama about well-tanned actor George Hamilton’s mother, before he was famous. K put this on our Netflix queue, but I had heard about it.  Renee Zellweger plays the lead, and does a formidable job portraying a beautiful woman past her prime who leaves her philandering bandleader husband (played by a leathery-faced Kevin Bacon), and takes her two teenage sons across the country, looking for a husband, or at least somebody to support her financially.

For such a specific story that you know has a happy ending (George becomes an actor), it was the literal journey the characters took that was so interesting.  For the most part, they work their way west from New York to Los Angeles, stopping wherever there may be a chance for help.  Throughout it all, Zellweger keeps the mother’s attitude positive, despite the obviousness of how desperate she’s becoming.  It was nice to see her really work her acting muscles.

Although this looked like a small production, there were several well-known actors in small parts, primarily those of the mother’s potential suitors.  Even more interestingly, the real George Hamilton never appears whatsoever. But there is a line of dialogue soon after they get to LA where George is told to get to the beach and get some sun because he’s so pale. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was intentional.

So much better

sometimes it's necessary...

After some intense plotting and structuring, I re-tooled the opening scenes of DREAMSHIP so it focuses more on my protagonist.  Using the concept of as few descriptive words per scene as possible in the outline, I was able to produce a completely different yet more functional first three pages today.

I really like how they turned out.

I had to keep reminding myself that how events developed in the previous draft was not written in stone. I could knock the whole thing down and rebuild, this time letting myself feel free and uninhibited, and put it together so the end result is not only better, but significantly so.  It felt great.

I’ve got everything up to around page 16 plotted out, and may alternate between writing pages and moving ahead on the revamped outline to the end of the first act.

Believe me, this is very exciting stuff.

-Movie of the Moment – CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. Loved it! SOOO much better than GREEN LANTERN. A real popcorn adventure story.  I really liked how it never talked down to the audience.  Just a well-written superhero movie.

I couldn’t help but think that this is what director Joe Johnston was hoping for when he did THE ROCKETEER back in 1991. Wow! 20 years ago. Boy, do I feel old.

I was concerned that some parts might be too scary or intense for V, but she was a real trouper throughout. She really liked it.

Getting back to the Green Lantern comparison,CAP took the concept and really ran with it.  There was no blatant hitting you over the head with the hero’s character flaw. Maybe it helped that this had two writers, while GL had four (some of which were from TV, which also didn’t help).

Two added bonuses – loved the post-tease AVENGERS tease. Hopefully Whedon knocks this one way out of the park. The other was the silent reference to the original Human Torch at the World’s Fair. V asked what I was chuckling about, but there was no time to explain.  Maybe I’ll get around to it some other time.

Summer movie season seems to be winding down, so all that seems to remain is COWBOYS & ALIENS and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.  Would like to see the former in theatres, but will probably see the latter at home.

Time won’t let me

>Insert time pun here<

I may have overcome my opening pages dilemma. I thought things through, figured out what I needed to show, and took it from there. It’s different than what it was before, and I think a little stronger this time around.

I’ve been working a split shift this week (4:30-9am, then 3-6pm), so my available writing time has been short. As you can imagine, there just hasn’t been much time to work on my own stuff.  Sure, this will push back my target end date, but that’s just the way it is.

On that note, I read this earlier today.

I paid particular interest to his comment that he set about writing eight hours a day, seven days a week as he could manage.

Wow.  I wish I had that kind of time available to write, but I don’t.  I don’t know if he ever got out of the house or spent all his off-the-job-time writing.  I can’t do that. Not because I don’t want to, but I have other stuff that needs to get done.

I really hope this doesn’t come across as sounding whiny or jealous. I may be a little jealous of his success, but not in a “why this guy and not me?” way; more of a “that’s great; hope that’s me someday” way.

I wish I could get more writing done each day, but for now, I work with my schedule and just do the best I can.

-V and I saw HARRY POTTER PT 2 last night. It was fun, but don’t feel like I need to go out of my way to see it again.  Maybe the next time it’s on TV. I’m also feeling a little burned out by the whole series. I read the books, which I really hope V will be motivated to actually read herself someday, and we own the first 6 films, which have been watched many, many times.

V grabbed my arm tightly a few times during the more intense parts, but she enjoyed it.

It was hard not to think about JK Rowling and how she came up with all of this. Really impressive. I’m almost tempted to skim through some of the later books again.

Almost.