Monday, January 12, 2009

Beats, Outlines & Dreams

Oooh, it's been a strange few days.

Over the weekend, I located my Very Important Pile of research and character notes and was thrilled to find the info I yearned for, but then that old devil, "thinking", kept gnawing away at me and I wondered if the script really needed a re-injection of some of this stuff anyway.  After reading everything from beginning to end, I stuck the files in a drawer, picked up my screenplay and whilst cross referencing, began my new readjusted beat sheet and rough outline. Nine pages of notes later, I felt I knew these characters more than I knew myself.

Having written a lot of stuff yesterday - and obviously with it all playing heavily on my mind - I slept really badly last night. I had a heavy battle of imaginary wills in my dreams and it left me feeling like a tightly wound up coil this morning. I woke up in a very bad mood (yes, I's hard to believe, huh?!?) ready to burn every copy and trace of the story, as I felt as though I didn't even know what it was all about anymore.  A real-life case of losing the plot.

By early mid-morning, I had relegated myself from my desk to the sofa. With my notes from yesterday, a hot drink and some scene-creating music I set about going back to basics.  I reckoned, if I couldn't sum up the flow in six statements then I had some serious sh*t to cover. But I did, and so I didn't. Phew. I have also been taught a rather valuable lesson in finding the median course and not being too hell-bent on ticking every single box. Although all advice and points of view have to be taken into account, the piece still has to have my intrinsic voice and style - otherwise it's not the piece that was commissioned: someone else should be doing it, surely?

All that aside, tonight I managed to print off my new draft from which I had lost, gained, reassessed and redressed. I'll have one last read of it before I go to bed tonight and although I know I'll wake up knackered again tomorrow, I can be sure my subconscious has sorted out a lot sh*t for me during the night. I only hope I haven't lost my voice in it as I'm sure I'll have a zillion re-drafts to go.

I trust your week is shaping up nicely.