The good news: The script is done. The accursed, untenable, unsalable, hackneyed, nagging time travel screenplay has finally been completed. The entire plot outline was covered, the crises averted, the ending tied up in a neat bow. I’m done with the first draft. Done!
The bad news: It’s less than 16,000 words, around 85 pages. That’s probably too short to be a truly complete draft (there are lots of places where more dialogue or description is probably necessary), and it’s over 4,000 words shy of winning the Script Frenzy challenge. It’s the very last night of the month, and there’s no way I could add that much to the script in time to meet the deadline tonight.
Here’s the kicker: I don’t really want to, either. Sure, I could write a couple dozen pages’ worth of space monkeys attacking, but it just doesn’t feel worthwhile. Not the script itself; I’m immensely proud of completing it, and I think it could be pounded into something mildly entertaining with a few more drafts. I’m glad I spent some time this month working on it, but I’m also glad I didn’t spend any more time on it than I did. It’s been a busy month in all respects, and when it came right down to it I picked family, friends, other projects, and sleep (oh, that) over meeting a screenplay challenge.
From here… I’m not sure. I’m thinking of asking K to check it for embarrassing bits. If she doesn’t howl with laughter, I’ll post it in the writing section for your amusement.
Final word count: 15,741.
Wow. I just made it through one of those sections of the plot outline that was a single line, and even that line was hand-waving. (Seriously, it read “Block 5: montage of LURVE.”) It’s the part of most movies that doesn’t work at all if the actors don’t have chemistry and the director doesn’t have a soul, so there’s usually not a lot going on in the script.
Unless that script is The Princess Bride.
If you haven’t seen that film, go watch it now. Now. I’ll wait. Done? Okay. Compare the scene in the fire swamp with the scene at the beginning with the water jug. Which one makes you believe that these two people love each other? Which one makes you wonder if it’s going to be a kissing book? Exactly. What’s the difference? In the fire swamp, the actors have a steady stream of dialogue and actions they can hang their emotions on, and the director has a million places to insert a hand-holding here, a quick embrace there, a significant look.
I did not, in fact, write a scene like that. However, the scenes I wrote were a lot more like that than the water jug scenes, so I’m hoping the audience won’t have to take it on faith that these two cardboard cutouts really are meant for each other. That will come in handy in the next few scenes when I pit them against each other.
Word count so far: 6,965.
Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday: Flushed Bra Causes Sewer Collapse. This was just so rich I had to quote the article here:
The bra was recovered from the sewer by engineers
A bra and a pair of knickers have been blamed for a flood and road collapse in County Durham.
Northumbrian Water said the underwear was flushed down a toilet and caused a blockage in a sewage pipe in Middleton-St-George, near Darlington. Heavy rain, together with a build up of grease and fat, caused the pipe to burst and the road above to collapse. The road will remain closed for days and Northumbrian Water estimates repairs will cost more than £15,000. The company has now urged residents to think carefully about what they flush away.
A spokeswoman said: “If the underwear had not been flushed down the toilet, this would not have happened. It was very irresponsible behaviour. When we dug down to inspect the damage, we found a bra and knickers had snagged itself across the nine-inch diameter of the pipe. There was also a heavy build-up of grease and fat, which contributed to the situation. We were forced to repair a 2m section of sewer and a 10m section of road was affected. These pipes are not designed to carry bras and knickers.” The spokeswoman said it was impossible to trace the owners of the underwear.
She added: “Unfortunately no-one wants to even touch the offending items. They will remain bagged for a time and then disposed of properly.”
Work on the Accursed Screenplay has been slow, but I’m plodding away. (“Plodding” isn’t exacly the word one wants associated with a film script, but whatever.) I’m actually kind of proud of the progress I’ve made so far. Dialogue isn’t my strongest suit, but I’ve been able to discover new things about my characters just by what they’ve said in the first 20 pages. That feels pretty good, whether I end up finishing on time or not. Which I will, assuming I can write 1500 words a day from now on.
Word count so far: 4,019.