Didn’t see that one coming


This rewrite is really becoming an eye-opener.

While it would be too easy to stick with most of what I had before and just make some minor changes, there’s a line in the notes I got over the summer that really stuck in my head: your hero has to be challenged more.  The way the story plays out now doesn’t do that.

Something had to be done.

Now I look at every scene with the intent of changing it to not only make the hero the one moving things forward, but also to make sure he can’t just cruise through it.

This includes a key scene where the hero basically complicates things out of clumsiness, which was also commented on in the aforementioned notes. That definitely had to change.

I don’t remember which famous writer said it, but basically, if you get stuck, introduce a gun, or have somebody shoot a gun. Something like that.

And my hero has a gun.

See where this is going?

Without even realizing it, I had my character doing something I never thought he would. Or could. Now the dynamic of the scene has drastically changed, while keeping the purpose the same.

I’d heard about this before, but never actually experienced it myself.

They say your characters can really surprise you at times, and this was a prime example of that. Kind of makes me wonder what else both of us are capable of as the story advances.

Feels like things are about to get really interesting.

New place, new start

Fall is here! Time for pie! (subcategory – pumpkin, subdivision – whipped cream)

Packing was stress-inducing, but the move went smoothly (including movers who were reliably fast and efficient), and the unpacking stage seems never-ending.

But it’s all in the past now. Time now to realign my focus back on the outline and get things done.

Despite not having a chance to actually write over the past week, my creativeness was definitely being put to work, including coming up with a potentially stronger beginning.  You don’t realize how much you miss working on a project until you’re forced to not work on it.

Suffice to say, I’m really hoping to be super-productive over the next few weeks.

-I’m fully recovered from last week’s half-marathon, and now have to resume training for the one next month in the City of Angels. I was hoping to get a run in tomorrow, but part of the move involved switching out TVs, so I’ve got to spend tomorrow afternoon waiting for the friendly neighborhood Cable Guy to show up and check stuff out. Unfortunately, the run will have to wait.

Always seeking the silver lining, I plan on utilizing my time waiting for him by either a) unpacking some more, or b) working on the all-important rewrite. Maybe a little of both.

-It’s been a while, but time now for the triumphant return of MOVIE OF THE MOMENT! – Up today: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (2012)!

I think “disorganized mess” sums it up nicely. It veered back and forth between fun comic book-style popcorn flick and predictable, cheesy thriller. Nic Cage was all over the map, but seemed to be enjoying himself.

Too hard to sum up the plot, but something about the Rider having to prevent Satan’s representative on Earth from taking over the body of a 13-year-old boy.  I think.

It wasn’t what you’d call easy to understand, which is especially surprising since David Goyer is one of the credited writers.

Possibly a minor complaint – not enough of the title character in action. Something like 3-4 sequences, including a humongous fiery mining vehicle, but I was hoping for more.

Overall, not a terrible way to spend 95 minutes.

Busy times

-I was originally going to write about emails and e-newsletters from screenwriters and screenwriting organizations, and how much I hate generic emails from screenwriting ‘experts’ that are nothing but spam in disguise, but there’s only so much you can say. Basically, pick the ones that work best for you.

-With our big move coming up in a few days, just about all of my spare time has been spent packing and running stuff over to the new place. Writing’s on the back burner for the time being; probably until the end of the week.  Looking forward to jumping back into the DREAMSHIP rewrite.

-I’m planning on sending my script notes back to the writer later today. It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is.

-Ran the Giant Race half-marathon yesterday – 1:57:12. Not too bad, but I was hoping to break 1:55. I’m not one to make excuses, but I think I could have done a little better if the start of the race wasn’t jammed into a narrow section of road. We were running with the 10k, so everybody was shoehorned in, causing a bit of a slowdown for about the first mile or so. I’ll be doing the LA half-marathon at the end of October, so fingers crossed.

My two cents. Apply accordingly.

Worth their weight in gold? Maybe.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy giving feedback on other people’s scripts. I’m definitely not a guru, but I think my advice is pretty solid.

I just finished a script that has a great concept at its root, but still needs a lot of work.  There are a lot of rookie mistakes, most of which are easily fixed, and I’ll make suggestions regarding the big stuff – story, structure, character development, etc.  I’m curious to know if the writer will implement any of my comments.  Of which there are a lot.

I don’t know if other writers experience this when reading somebody else’s work, but more than once I’d think, “how can they not know this is the wrong way to do this?”

Then I’d remind myself of two really important points – first, maybe they don’t know, so I’ll explain my comments as best I can, hopefully enough so the point gets across and it helps improves their writing, and second, feedback from a negative place doesn’t do anybody any good.  The recipient is less likely to give your opinion any merit and you come across as bitter and angry. (Check out the forums on Trigger Street to get a better idea of this.)

It’s possible to give constructive criticism without tearing somebody down, but it’s also up to the writer to understand any feedback they get is about making their work better, and not an attack on them personally.

Shame on me

Yes, I know it’s late

I’d completely forgotten I was supposed to provide feedback on somebody’s script, so rewrite stuff is on hold while I wear my analyst hat over the next few days.

After that, it’ll probably be a bit hectic, what with the half-marathon on Sunday and the movers coming next Wednesday. Despite all that, I’ll try to have some kind of positive rewrite status news sometime soon. No promises, though.

I might even take a few moments here and there to actually breathe. If I can find the time.

In the meantime, seen anything good lately?