With a sigh of relief, I’m managing to work my way through the end of Act Two. As has been the case before, it wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be. This seems to happen a lot. I stress out over how hard I think something’s going to be, then it isn’t. Why do I keep torturing myself like this? Must be part of the writer’s genetic imprint.
Fortunately, not as much stress about Act Three. I scribbled out a rough version a few months ago and should be able to use that as a foundation. Further proof why you should never throw anything away.
Speaking of holding on to things…
I have about a dozen books on screenwriting. Some were worth the purchase, some not (looking at you, Mr McKee). Then there’s Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT! This may actually be the last one I bought, probably a year or so after it originally came out. Honestly, I don’t remember much about it. Something about ‘fun & games’, but that’s about it.
But I’ve heard it mentioned more than a few times lately, and thought maybe it was worth a second read. So I dug it off the shelf, blew off the dust and dove right in.
Chapter One was interesting. If I’m reading it correctly, it asks the question “Is your story irresistible?” This includes the title, the logline and whether or not it’s high concept. Anything that makes somebody not just want, but NEED to read it. While I figure out my answers as they apply to this story, it’s inspired me to try a kind of experiment: while I work on this script, I’m going to take the rules/guidelines as interpreted by this book and apply them to my writing process.
What will be the end result? Hell if I know. I’m not expecting any kind of major breakthrough or eye-opening revelation. Maybe it’ll make it easier to figure things out, or give me a better idea of how to guide things along.
Details as they evolve.
-Movie of the Moment. SHERLOCK (2012). The one from the BBC. Not necessarily a movie, but fantastic examples of incredible and smart writing. These DO NOT treat the viewer as an idiot, and force you to pay attention, making for an even more satisfying viewing experience as the stories unfold.
Even better, you don’t have to be a fan of the original material to enjoy them. If you are, it’s a thrill to watch how the stories have been adapted for the present. People will claim Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett make for definitive Holmes, but Benedict Cumberbatch is certainly worthy to be added to that list.