10 October 2009

I can't be trusted to do anything...

On occasion, I write blog posts dealing with my screenwriting. These posts are, invariably, not at all amusing, nor are they meant to be - I leave the amusing stuff for when I'm ranting about inane nonsense. When I'm writing about screenplays, another side of me comes out. You could call it the sensible, rational side, but I couldn't possibly comment.

But I am concerned that it makes for a rather changeable and, at times, stilted blog.

I briefly considered creating another blog just to write about, well, writing. I then realised that would be a ridiculous idea as 1) I barely have enough readers to keep one blog going, let alone two, and 2) having a couple of blogs on the go at once would be a ludicrously egotistical move - quite frankly, I'm nowhere near important enough to be spouting my nonsense from two places at once. Therefore, I'm afraid you'll have to put up with the mix 'n' match aspect for now.

So, on to writey news.

I met up with Mike last night, author of Mortal Remains which I've been banging on about for a while here and here and in other posts too.

Mike had read my redraft of his screenplay and we had a good chat about it over a few pints of delicious beer. There were parts that he really liked and parts that he wasn't so keen on, which is entirely to be expected with these things.

However, over the course of a couple of hours, something quite astounding occurred.

We discovered that I'd made an almighty fuck-up with my script rewrite.

Essentially, what I'd done (and this was quite unconscious) was to take an idea that had been formenting in my head for a while and graft it onto Mike's screenplay. In essence, the location that I'd placed the protagonists in was a character all in itself - one with a history, a gravitas, a presence. The location was the main character.

When Frank (the bad guy) was introduced into the equation, it felt somehow wrong, like an intrusion. He arrived on the scene, with his sharp, witty dialogue, and it felt slightly at odds with what I'd written up to that point. I continued anyway, hoping that it'd be sorted out along the line with another draft. I now realise that this was my subconscious saying "You know he doesn't belong there, don't you? You've created something entirely new and interesting, and now Frank's being crowbarred in".

I should probably listen to my subconscious more often.

After another pint and some more conversation, myself and Mike came to the conclusion that I'd smashed together two very good ideas into one screenplay, but they both needed the appropriate amount of breathing room. Basically, this script wasn't big enough for both of them.

So, it looks like we're now back at square one with regard to Mike's script, and also at square one with a brand new screenplay that I'm going to write.

It was a very interesting conversation and there is certainly no ill will between myself and Mike as a result of this. In fact, he's expressed an interest in working with me on the new script as well as Mortal Remains.

It's strange how the writing process works out sometimes.

The moral of the story is: never ask me to do you a favour. You may end up with twice the problem you started with...

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