STUCK VS. SLOW - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

 

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Last night Lisa and I had a half hour's knock-down-drag-out about a few plot points in Gone to Soldiers, finally resolving the issue so that she was happy -- she believed the characters' motivations -- and I was happy -- nothing important happening offscreen, dramatic back'n'forth between the characters, who wanted things from each other and trie to get them in un-self-aware, twisted, self-destructive ways.

After which, she said she felt stuck.

So I said: stuck? We just fixed a plot point. Slow is not stuck.

Slow progress generally means that there's sticky stuff that has to be handled the right way. Slow progress usually means you're going to come up with something that is non-obvious and therefore fresh.

Stuck means you keep staring at it, not able to get any further.

Lisa's at the outline stage on the second act. I have to keep reminding her that there's nothing wrong with spending months on an outline. The outline's where you should be spending the months. I've never figured out how to write less than a page an hour of actually sitting in a chair in front of the computer. That means that the first draft screenplay takes three to six weeks, tops. I think that's true of most professional screenwriters. When pro's talk about spending a year on a screenplay, I think they're generally talking about spending a lot of time on the outline, or rewriting many, many, many drafts. The first draft is not what takes the time. The story takes time, and the rewriting takes time.

And, of course, the more time you spend on the story, the less time you spend rewriting.

I'm sure we'll get there, and I believe that the slowness now means that the eventual screenplay will unfold in an inevitable yet surprising way. (See my book for an explanation of these terms.)

Good on ya, mate.

1 Comments:

Spending six months on an outline only makes sense if you already know how to get the outline right. If you don't, you may find when you start writing that your outline doesn't really work. And six months have gone by.

I suspect that the way screenwriters learn how to write a good outline by trying to work from outlines that either do or don't work.

If you're new at this, maybe you shouldn't let too much time go by before you see if you can actually write the stuff in the outline.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.