Yin, Meet Yang

A terrible day at work today was followed by a crazily productive writing session, where another eight pages of my pilot script were hammered into place. The only mild problem is that the script is likely going to run ridiculously long, but that’s what getting myself enough ahead of schedule in order to allow loads of editing time is for.

Tonight I wrote the pivotal scene in the middle, and it’s an example of how my thinking’s changed since I first drafted it back in the day. Originally a very tragic event happened, and then the lead character was miraculously transported where he needed to go. He had no say in the matter. It was merely assumed that he’d do what he had to do. And he did. But that’s not dramatically very interesting. The impact of the dramatic event was in my head, rather than on the page.

In the new version, though, it’s very much on the page. The impact is given time to resonate, to grow, and then my protagonist has to make an active choice about what to do next. It’s action rather than reaction. I’m becoming far more conscious of the need to keep things moving rather than static (I do so like scenes with two talking heads, you see – really need to stop doing that), and this script really leaps into action after the setup. The aim is that whether a scene is fast or slow, it never, ever treads water. There’s still a lot of work to do, but the episode is so much in my head now that I’m basically just transcribing thoughts and trying to keep the signal-to-noise ratio down to the absolute minimum.

So yes, as the old football commentators would say: it’s been a day of two halves, Brian.

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