Thursday, February 5, 2009

Still Alive

With each revision, the story improves.  It's a frustrating, occasionally panic-inducing process.  Looking at the Post-it wall, there are few similarities between the story I started with two weeks ago and what exists now.  

This morning, after a day of banging my head on a third act that didn't feel right, I started sketching out five-sentence synopses of every possible ending variant that popped into my head.  After I had about eight, I started to zero in on something that didn't feel like a complete cop-out.  But the way things have been going, I'll probably wake up tomorrow morning and feel like today's additions were crappy.  Well, even if I only save five percent of each day's gains, that'll get me somewhere, eventually.

One thing I've zeroed in on is that this really is a love story.  It sounds like a simple thing to say, but I had to sweat for about a week before that was clear to me.

Another thing that I'm starting to notice is that a lot of movies (including some movies that I really like) get away with murder in the writing department.  Bad pacing, cliches, too much exposition, repetition -- it turns out that you can still make a successful, well-liked movie, even if your story sucks.  And the literary standards for sci-fi and action movies are especially low.  I feel like I'm already close to the middle of the pack, story-wise.  Anime films, especially, can fall into some weird, solipsistic navel-gazing B.S.  I totally understand the impulse, but nobody cares that you have deep thoughts.  They want to see stuff happening.

I don't know how long I should wrangle with this before I throw in the towel and start drawing (more importantly, I don't know how long I can afford to wrangle with it).

I said I wanted a learning experience.  Boy, did I get what I asked for.

1 comment:

  1. Transformers 2 revenge of the fallen comes to mind when you say bad writing in films...but with enough special effects and action people will see the movie and like it. Strip away the special effects, strip away megan fox...what do you have...a pretty bad movie in a lot of places...I know I have a ton of catch up to do as this is in 2009 but the journey to where you are now is something i need to see.