Saturday, May 02, 2015

Dry Run Update 2

Okay, first things first:

That is not good.  But as I said before, this is only what I have typed up from my many, many pages handwritten in my notebook.  I will attempt to get more going, so that you're impressed the next time I update.  But I may fail in that (hence this dry run).

Second, I had a conversation with Big the other night about how, in screenwriting, they say you're supposed to start each scene as late as possible and get out of each scene as early as possible.  I know that's supposed to make your writing more dynamic, but it's one of those irritating screenwriter sayings like "Show don't tell" and "Page one is the most important page, followed by page two, and page three, and page four..."

I started writing this story, which I'm currently calling "Into the Furnace," a few days ago, and I knew even before I began it that I wanted to start the tale with a conversation with the mayor, telling the sheriff he needs to leave town.  He's a shell of the man he used to be, and is doing no good as the Law in that place anymore.  I think I even came up with the first line I wanted the story to begin with, but as I thought about it, I decided that it would be the mayor's wife who would be giving the speech (it's that Geena Davis suggestion of arbitrarily changing a male character to female that I can't seem to shake).

But in having the conversation with Big, I realized that, going by screenwriting rules, the story could actually begin with him having left the city and trying to start afresh in a new town (this one, I decided--also arbitrarily--will take place in New Mexico), because that's the real beginning of the story.  That's how I ought to start it, with no mayor's wife (played in my mind by Kathy Bates) telling him how much the people in town appreciate him, but he's got to leave).

Except I'm not going to.  I answer only to myself, and Kathy Bates is gonna be in there, by God.  Nobody may read it, but I'm going to write the story I want to write.  It's the little power I have in a life that usually seems pretty powerless.*

After all, if the story began with the arrival in the new town, I would have exactly zero words in the above meter.  And no one wants that.


*Have you ever seen the way THE AVENGERS originally began?  The Battle of New York has already happened, and Maria Hill is being debriefed, and she begins to tell the story.  Then it starts in flashback with Captain America having come to 2012, trying to process how much the world has changed, discovering everyone he knew before except Peggy Carter has died, and he goes for a walk in New York, taking in the changes, where he meets the pretty waitress he ends up saving at the end of the movie.  It's all character development, those scenes, and Joss Whedon (or it could've been Feige, I dunno) ended up cutting it all, and starting the movie with Fury and Coulson, Iron Man underwater, then we enter Steve Rogers's new life in the gym where he's beating up on punching bags and Nick Fury recruits him into the Avengers.  I understand why it was cut, but I also would've appreciated seeing a version of the movie where all that was edited back in (well, maybe not the Maria Hill bookends, but even that might have worked if we'd seen it the context of how Joss first presented the film).  Just saying.

1 comment:

Seraph said...

Is it okay to ask what kind of genre this story will be ? Something about the characters / setting reminds me of King a little. So - horror maybe ? Some kind of spec-fic ? Or are you thinking something more along the lines of a mystery or crime story ? Sorry - I feel like I'm bugging you incessantly about it already.