The process of overhauling the low-budget comedy has proven to be quite the challenge. Notes from reliable sources had pointed out a few problems in need of fixing, and that’s what I’ve been laboring to rectify the past couple of weeks.
It hasn’t been easy.
One challenge was to let go of “what came before” in the previous draft. Sometimes it’s tough to wipe the slate clean and start anew, and this time was no exception. Once I set up how things play out, it’s not easy to push it aside and do something different.
Which isn’t to sat I haven’t been trying.
Even though you can’t force inspiration, I knew I could think my way through this. So, as has happened many times before, I stepped back and took a look at the full picture.
What was it about the previous draft that wasn’t working? Start with that and figure out ways it could be done differently. Let the imagination run wild and the creativeness flow.
First, I broke it down on a scene-by-scene basis. What’s the purpose of each one? Does it advance story, character and theme? And since it’s a comedy, is it funny? (That last one has been particularly challenging).
It’s been tough, but not insurmountable.
I’d managed to work my way into the first part of Act 2, but then hit a wall. Nothing was working.
I won’t say I was feeling desperate, but it was quite an effort to not pick up my laptop and fling it across the room.
But rather than engage in aggravated assault of electronic devices, I opted to give it one last try.
I went back to the notes. Many of the comments said more or less the same thing, especially regarding one in particular. I’d seen it before, but this time, something really resonated.
One of the most powerful tools in the writer’s bag o’ tricks is the Great What If? Use it wisely.
So I applied it to my problem. If THIS wasn’t working, WHAT IF I tried something different? And what better way to do something different than the total opposite?
And as it has many times before, there it was.
The more I applied this to the rest of the story, the more of it came together. It’ll require a little more rewriting for now, but gosh is this a lot better than it was before.
Forward momentum has resumed. Updates to be released accordingly.
-Bulletin board update! Filmmaker Diane Harder has a crowdfunding project underway for her short Penny Foster. Donate if you can!