Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cut, Slash & Hack

I'm rewriting Where Angels Fear To Tread episode one of a six part drama series. The page count started out as 90 but I want to cut it down to 60 to make it a tighter script. I was dreading it, as there are some truly great scenes.

However, knowing you've got to lose 30 pages really focuses the mind. While I was working on it today I realised I had tried to do too much with character in the first episode and that was watering down what could be a tense drama. I started to cut several scenes (which I shall probably use in later episodes) and one subplot that were only slowing down the story. Before I knew where I was I had lost over ten pages of script. I thought the process would hurt but instead I found it exhilarating. When I read the first 20 pages again there were no wasted lines.

I learnt a valuable lesson today; kill your babies. No mater how well a line of dialogue or a scene is written, no matter how much you love it, if it doesn't contribute to the story or character then it needs to be cut. I cut a lot of my favorite lines and scenes today and now the script is looking much sharper. I'm not saying it's done yet but it's a lot closer than it was.

4 comments:

Lucy said...

You're doing it again!! Killing babies!!! Arrrrrgghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Dom Carver said...

I would like to point out that no babies were harmed during the writing of this post.

Olaf said...

you are correct what you say about losing focus. But I have lost more than that. Ready to give up now.

Lucy said...

Maybe no babies were harmed DURING Dominic, but what about AFTER, hmmm? Or BEFORE?? HMMMMMMM???

And I take it you're rejecting my offer of a cup of tea this wknd??? Mind you, with your killing babies fixation, perhaps we've had a lucky escape down in Devonia...