I just took a look a script I wrote maybe five years ago. At the time, people weren't too excited about it. They said it was, among other things, "predictable." And, rereading it, it does feel a tad predictable.
But you know, most romantic comedies are more or less predictable, if you try to guess where they're going. Does the phrase "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl" ring a bell?
In this case, I don't think "predictable" is the problem. What it is, is a symptom.
What is really going on is that the bones of the structure are showing. We aren't invested enough in the characters; the scenes aren't fleshed out enough. So, alienated, we stand back and observe the structure. We have time to think about how predictable it is because we're not involved in what's going on in the scenes.
The solution isn't to make it less predictable. I script's structure is not bad. The solution is to flesh out the scenes, so that we don't care
if the structure is familiar, and we don't have the time or inclination to second-guess the outcome.
Readers will tell you what's wrong with your script, but you have to interpret it. Most people spot symptoms and miss the underlying causes. And if you attempt to fix the symptoms, you'll just bollix up your script further.
As for this script, my problem is -- I just don't care about the characters enough to save them from this terrible script. There's probably a good story to be salvaged in there. But is it worth going in after them? I don't know.
Labels: craft, notes