How long were you engaged?
The wife and kids got back home Saturday, ending my 8-day writing fest. How’d it go? Pretty well, I’d say. Psycho Ex doesn’t yet have a showable first draft (which was the original goal), but it will by Labor Day. So if you’ve been a script reader of mine before, get ready.
The big highlight/breakthrough of the week occurred at 10:22PM on Tuesday. Lightning struck and the huge bloated mess that was Act Two suddenly came into focus. A bold new Line emerged and I started resequencing and cutting like crazy. The index cards were flying. I’m now pretty psyched about this Act Two – it should turn out to be one of the most active and energetic second acts of all my scripts. I’ve said all along that this script is much more plot than ideas/theme, and right now The Line feels really good.
I’m currently on page 75, plowing forward while rewriting/cutting as I go. Page count is cooperating nicely. Two big scenes (already written) and I’m out of Act Two. Act Three is looking strong too. A couple of wrinkles to finesse still, but I’m in good shape. I’m as excited about this script as I’ve ever been.
By the Numbers:
131 = current page count (down from a peak of 151 and then 143 when the honeymoon began)
200 = blank index cards I had to go out and buy
57 = current number of scenes in the script (some are montages and/or intercut sequences)
10 = page number when we get the big hook/rug-pull moment
2 = number of dinners I had with old friends I haven’t seen much of since the children came
2 = number of people who get killed in the story
1= number of attacks with gardening implements
0 = number of times a character named Bernard Blanchard calls someone a “taffy ass” in the script (have to rectify this before it’s finished)
0 = minutes spent playing Wii for the entire 8 days
countless = number of times I watched this
Here’s the living room floor on Day 5. It’s not as glamourous at it looks…
Some of the notecards are blank – those scenes have been written, I just haven’t done notecards yet because I’m not there yet. (Somewhere in there are a few script pages from David Lynch’s Lost Highway. Yes, I’m stealing from the best.) The big empty space in the floor is for me.
Total seconds spent playing Wii so far: zero.
Okay, break’s over.
My wife and I got married toward the end of my last semester of grad school. I remember our honeymoon like it was yesterday: she flew off for a weekend in Vegas… while I stayed home and wrote 60 pages in two days. Act Two of Stuck.
Forget “romantic” – it was the last semester and that sucker was due.
Now, all these years later, it looks like we’re finally taking a second honeymoon. And this time we’re super-sizing it: Friday she flies the kids off for eight days in Texas… while I stay home and finally finish that first draft of Psycho Ex.
That’s the plan – party like it’s 1993. My own personal ScriptFrenzy. As of right now the monstrosity is 143 pages (down from 151!) and there are a still two or three missing scenes in Act Two. But I’m determined to do it. Unlike the old days, I will have to work the 40-hour day job, but eight days is a lot. A luxury. The two weekend days especially should be productive.
So be on the lookout for rewrite updates. Maybe I’ll do constant posts with page counts. Or maybe I’ll just turn off all communications and disappear into a cave with my laptop. Or maybe I’ll just play Wii and surf the net for eight days. No! No, I’m gonna do this. The goal is to have a showable first draft when she gets back, and to have a version uploaded to readers on zoetrope.com by 9/1/09.
So forget “romantic” – bring on The Rewrite.