Oh yeah: that script challenge thing I’m supposed to be working on.
The other day I went looking for this email I sent back on 3/7/07:
3/31: plot outline
5/15: act one (approximately page 20-30)
7/15: midpoint (approximately page 50-70)
7/15 – 7/31: Italy vacation (no writing)
9/30: act two (approximately page 80-100)
11/15: act three (approximately page 100-130)
12/31: clean-up and complete first draft (trim down to 90-120 pages)
I am currently at 42 pages with Psycho Ex, so unless I crank out 38-58 pages this weekend, it looks like I’m somewhat behind. No worries.
The good news: I’m almost halfway through act two on my revised outline. Instead of the clean-up I was hoping for between 11/15 and 12/31, it looks as if the first draft I complete by 12/31 will be a VERY rough first draft.
The bad news: What used to be my entire act two is now merely the first half of act two, with the events/outline of the second half of act two somewhat of a mystery at this point – call it an exciting “process of discovery.” This is good for quality, because the script is becoming alive as its own thing and telling me the “old idea” wasn’t big enough, but it’s bad for arbitrary inorganic deadlines. This script is messy and one of the least consistent scripts I’ve worked on – the rough draft will be particularly rough – but they all feel that way. The clean-up does wonders.
My new thing is this: 2 pages a day. On the surface, this seems laughable – how can progress of a measly 2 pages a day ever get me anywhere? I better be much more ambitious than that, right? But when you really get into it I believe this is a great idea. If I actually get in the chair and open the file, I can come up with 2 pages easy, almost always more. 2 pages a day is modest and doable. It is not intimidating. And most importantly, it GETS ME IN THE CHAIR. And 2 pages a day means… 7 scripts a year, doesn’t it?
So far it has helped. We’ll see.