Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taking A Step Back

You ask friends and colleagues for feedback on your script, they give it and you have to admit that they have a point. So you make some notes and finalise what needs to be changed. You start the rewrite and fifteen pages into it you find to your horror it isn't working, no matter how many times you go back and try to rejig things in an attempt to make it do so. It's a horrible feeling realising that the work you have just done hasn't actually made your script better, but is actually making it worse.

This has happened to me twice in the last few months and I've had to have a long hard think about whether to drop major structural changes and return to the original idea, or to carry on regardless in the hope it all works out in the end. On both occasions I have chosen to go back to the previous draft and try again, only changing some things and not all of them.

Second Skin, my supernatural pilot drama, was giving me a lot of trouble. I realised on page fifteen of the fourth draft the changes weren't going to work. To me it just felt flat and not a vibrant as the original, and there was far too much exposition in it to allow me to continue. So I've decided to drop the current rewrite, go back to the last version and start again. This time there will only be subtle changes to incorporate the most common elements in the notes, no major rewriting of the first twenty pages as I had planned. It's save me work, but it will also keep the script closer to my original idea.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and admit what you are doing is wrong. Trust me, your work has a good chance of being a whole lot better for it.

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