Friday, June 15, 2007

The morning after

Yesterday was a damn fine day. There were yearbooks. And there was lunch at King Taco with my kids.

Then there was a boy at the gym. Finally. This boy and I have been giving each other the sexy eye for months. Yesterday he spoke.

Then I went home and put out my wasabi peanuts and the writers group came over to dish on Bamboo Killers.

I'm happy that some of our better comedy bits went over well. The stuff that really tickled us pink when we were writing tickled everybody else as well, except for that bit about the Vietnam vet disappearing into thin air. They didn't get that one so much.

The consensus appears to be great concept, good moments, good characters, but much confusion and a bit of a focus problem.

I wrote three of the chapters, Writing Partner wrote two, and we wrote one together. And everybody could tell. My style is so different from Partner's that there was a major tonal shift between the things that we wrote. So now we have to figure out how to smooth that out. I think I'll try just taking a pass at the script myself, then handing him the script and letting him take a pass and adding a bit of our own styles to each other's chapters. Or something.

Another problem is that we introduce a major character as an asshole and he kind of stays an asshole all the way through the film. So we need to do a better job of showing his softer side so he's not quite so predictable.

And I suffered once again from Emily's greatest writing weakness - over-subtlety. I inferred too much and people got lost. Some things do need to be spelled out a bit.

But the kicker was how I lost focus on the one thing I always get on everybody else about - goal. What is your character's goal? People didn't really see the throughline in our story because all our characters' goals were internal. They're all working on themselves in subtle ways and don't have a lot of tangible goals.

Fortunately all the things the group brought up were easy to fix. They'll take some time, but there's no major reworking of the plot necessary.

Probably the most interesting note was how one group member thought this would be a romantic comedy because of the way we set up two characters who never even meet as if they were destined to meet. Oops.

It is definitely NOT a romantic comedy.

So here we go. Time for the rewrite.

1 comment:

  1. I think the plan of having each of you do a full pass on the script will go a long way to smoothing things out. Good idea.

    Also, I don't think it is so much letting the asshole have a softer side, so much as it stems from his motivation and complexity. He can be complex without having a soft side. I see nothing wrong with him being "bad" all the way through.


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