Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog


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

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

May 2021

June 2021


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Our producer liked our draft of the second script, and thought it was ready to go to the network.

But even better, one of my bestest writing friends took the time to read the draft, and gave us great notes. They were great because they were structural. They addressed not the symptoms but the ways in which the stories were not as strong as they could be structurally.

By structurally I mean how the story is told; how you'd describe the story before you even got to the scenes and the dialog. A character had betrayed our heroine in the past. My friend thought it would be stronger if the character's betrayal was a secret that came out at the climax of the story, rather than being backstory we referred to. Then our heroine has much further to go emotionally: instead of from old hurt to new hurt, from old friendship to new hurt.

Another story, he felt, didn't have enough jeopardy.

Some structural comments mean you have to rip up all your scenes and rewrite them. Some mean you just have to tweak a climactic scene. Regardless, they are the most valuable comments. You wind up with a stronger story, not just better dialog in your weak story.

When you give notes, try not to quibble with the dialog or the scenecraft until you've thought about the story and how it can be structured better. ... And treasure those friends of yours who can criticize your work structurally.


I hate to quibble but 'regardly'? Wouldn't a 'however' have worked just as well? Regardly is just jarring first thing in the morning;)

By Blogger Hawise, at 7:33 AM  

I just FIXED that!

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:27 AM  

Nothing to do with this post, and probably answered many times before:
When will those of us in the U.S. be able to see Charlie Jade, on TV, DVD, or otherwise?

By Blogger Dave, at 11:28 AM  

On the subject of structure, I've just finished the first draft of a feature screenplay and I'm struggling with act structure: when the act should end as concerns page count. This draft runs 130 pages -- yes, too long.

Lew Hunter is a stickler for precise act breaks: Act 1 should end on page 17, etc. Other script gurus take a more organic approach, saying the story should dictate the structure as long as there is rising action and it grips the audience.

My Act 1 runs 35 pages and I'm really trying to avoid "killing my babies" because what happens there is crucial to the rest of the story -- bet you've heard that one before. I can blame trying to make the script vertical for adding 5 or so pages to that act. The rest I can blame on me not being able to find a more succinct way to set up my protagonist's journey into Act 2.

I know there are certain screenplay conventions I have to follow. I also know that there are writers out there such as Charlie Kaufman, Paul Haggis and Christopher Nolan who push the envelope. I'm just trying to tell a linear story but I am concerned that I'm blurring the rules.

What are your thoughts on this and how do you deal with it?

Note: I'm new to the Scribosphere and haven't had the opportunity to benefit from older posts where you may have already covered the subject. Hope you don't mind, but I will be asking the same question to several other pro screenwriters whose blogs I read regularly. Is that a no-no re blog etiquette?

By Blogger Script Demon, at 11:37 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.