Right now, it’s all about finishing the first draft of this spec. Just get it done. Hopefully this momentous event will occur sometime in the next couple of days.
The script as a whole will of course need a lot of tweaking and reworking – it’s foolish to think otherwise – but it’s also important to get the words on the page to paint a strong mental picture. The more picturesque your text, the more vivid it becomes inside the reader’s mind.
Despite using the “write it now, fix it later” approach, I try to work with a wide variety of words, descriptions and phrases throughout to keep things interesting. Remember – the thesaurus is your friend. Use it wisely.
Changes will be made where necessary in forthcoming drafts. It’s more than likely a word or sentence will be modified several times, then changed back to what it originally was. This happens all the time.
As this draft was put together, the words that met my needs at the time were used. Are there ones that work better, or at least do a better job of conveying the intended mood? Without a doubt, but rather than spend too much time now to come up with the perfect word or phrase, I’m more interested in maintaining that nice, steady momentum. There’ll be time to spruce it up later.
You can have great language in your wide margins or dialogue, but it all boils down to this: if the story’s not rock-solid, the whole thing will fall apart.
I was especially reminded about this listening to a recent episode of Scriptnotes. One of the entries in the Three Page Challenge featured the colorful phrase describing a room: “A dragon’s lair of treasures.” Nice, huh?
I don’t know if the writers had that in there from Day One, but it’s definitely not something I would have come up with the first time around. It’s not hard to imagine this is the result of a little brainstorming. It’s short, descriptive and effective.
Don’t worry about getting it all perfect when you start. That’s what rewrites are for.
5 thoughts on “Simple now, fancy-schmancy later”
Ronald Colman – the epitome of style over substance.
Wait. That came out wrong. Substance was his foundation, on which he piled on the style!
I almost went with a photo of William Powell & Myrna Loy
Another pair with a great panache that was undergirded by a strong work ethic.
True, and their fantastic chemistry is a big part of what makes the THIN MAN series still hold up.
Great advice. I used to spend ages fancying up my first draft without getting through it – but sooo much easier to have it all down in one go before doing that!