Even as I continue to plow my way forward with the pulp spec (page 91 so far), I’m already anticipating what and how to edit what I’ve already written.
I suppose the current mood is “keep going until it’s finished!” rather than “write this, go back, edit it, then move on.”
The final page tally will be somewhere between 120 and 125, which isn’t bad, but it’s a safe bet I’ll be able to trim it down. It’s an even safer bet a lot of what will have to be cut stems from my habit of overwriting.
There’s no doubt I can make some good headway cleaning up the action lines, but my work is definitely cut out for me when it comes to dialogue.
It’s not uncommon for me to occasionally veer into chitchat territory. I even recognize it as I’m writing it. So why do I still do it? Probably as a form of placeholder; I know I’ll go back and fix it, but for now, it does the job.
To help provide some guidance on this, whenever I’m watching a film, I’ll pay extra attention to the dialogue. So many times the exchange between characters is just what it needs to be. They get to the point, and then get out. Anything beyond that wouldn’t be necessary, so it simply isn’t there. This is what I try to keep in mind when I’m in editing/rewriting mode.
I’ve read a lot of spec scripts with scenes that seem to never end because the writer throws in a lot of idle conversation between characters, so it feels like it takes forever to get to the point.
Too much dialogue adds to slowing down the read, which you want to avoid at all costs. The challenge is to use the dialogue to get to the point of the scene as soon as you can, then get out even faster.
Like with almost everything associated with writing a screenplay, difficult, but not impossible.