rewriting down to the wire...

The script had to be done by 5pm today for all of the executives in L.A. and N.Y. to get it for their weekend read...

When the day started, we had a pretty solid draft. We were just waiting for Lee's notes. So I figured we'd have a polished draft over to the executives by noon-ish and then I'd spend the rest of the afternoon patting myself on the back, eating peeled grapes, sipping Evian water chilled to 67.3 degrees, and lounging with my feet propped up on my desk while rehearsing my future Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (I always move myself to tears when I do that). At 9:30am Billy and I met with Lee and everything was looking good... I was on the verge of calling Pink Dot and ordering my peeled grapes... and then... Lee thought we needed to rework the concept of the entire first scene... "How dare she!!!" I thought. "My Evian water is chilling even as we speak! And speaking of speaking, how will I ever remember what to say to the Nobel committee if I don't practice!"

But she was right. Dammit. My afternoon of contemplation and self-congratulation would have to wait. So while Lee and the D.P., the A.D., the location scout, the production designer, and several other acronymed folks went off to scout yachts and coffeehouses, Billy and I got back to work trying to find a new way to introduce the main characters without making it seem like that's what we were doing. After kicking around numerous ideas, we settled on one that really seemed to work... and, of course, it told the story much better than the previous idea. In doing that work, we also discovered other places in the script where we could tighten scenes, strengthen characters, etc. That, my friends, is exactly why I love rewrites so much. The rewriting process is where you find the story you'd intended to tell in the first place -- and where you discover details that end up becoming incredibly important. Rewriting is also where you learn more about your characters. On a sidenote, after today's work we realized that we have a new favorite character... there's a story behind how that character came to be, but I'll save that for another post.

Point being that it's true, what many writers have said: Writing is rewriting. But rewriting takes a lot of time... and when there's a deadline on the horizon, you don't have the luxury of searching Google to find out who it was that actually said the quote you're planning on using later in your blog, which explains why I haven't attributed that quote to any writer in particular. Plus it's late and I'm tired and I've been writing all day and now here I am at the end of my day writing again. So I guess it's also true, what many other writers (who won't get credit from me either) have said: Writers write.

Writers also need to know when to stop writing. Which is what I'll do now. Right after I tell you that we made our deadline with 5 whole minutes to spare. :-) I hope the execs are enjoying their weekend read... I certainly enjoyed writing it for them.


Blogger klay said...

I'm addicted already. Keep those "I'll save it for another time" promises. I want details!

3:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home