Friday, March 23, 2007

Throwing stones at helpless little birds

Stupid Act Two.

My characters have their mission and they now have to go commit burglary. The burglary will be fun. I know how it's going to go down and who's going to do what and the comedic dialogue. I don't know yet what's going to go wrong but I'll figure that out tonight as I sleep.

Unless I dream again about the pet spider I kept last night to help me work the magic invisible typewriter but who bit and poisoned me even though he swore he was my friend, but he was probably just upset because I kept him in a jar of boiling water.

But that's not relevant right now.

I have to get my characters to the burglary in a believable, not boring way and that's hard, mostly because there's no method that Alias hasn't already used. So I'm just going to copy Alias. But the dialogue is dragging and I keep going back and erasing what I had and writing a new scene that I'm not happy with so I go back and erase it and write again and get nowhere.

I got stalled. So before I ended up wasting my day in this crap-writing cycle I put a big yellow note that said, "THIS SCENE SUCKS. FIX IT." And went on to the next scene. And even thought that note is waving at me, daring me to approach it, I know that once I've completed the vomit draft the answer will probably show itself.

But then I was thinking, as the big yellow note continue to taunt me, about the dialogue I had just written and the scene I needed to show and I realized that the answer is right there. The most important rule for making your script tighter: Two birds, one stone.

Although why any asshole would feel joyous about knocking the crap out of two innocent birds with a big rock is beyond me. But that's not relevant right now.

If you can use one scene to accomplish two goals the script is always better off. Sometimes that thought is all it takes to jumpstart your brain. Now I have a nifty little scene that sets up my heist, provides some comedy and a little bit of action, as well as further developing the relationship between my main characters.

Good for you, Act Two.


  1. Good for you, Emily.

    I'm not writing at the moment because I'm busy reviewing other people's scripts on zoetrope so that they'll review mine, but all your talk is starting to make me jealous. I need to get back on the horse. The Rewrite Horse. Man, he's a feisty animal.

  2. No excuses! Even one page a day is better than nothing.


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