Outlining and Other Development-y Goodness

Read ‘em and weep, bitches.

This is the outline board for my current script, which I am calling the Redbeard story, pending an actual title.

While I await comments from you lazy slackers who have the Cousins script (you know who you are), I’m starting on my next. I feel a little guilty that this is also a rom-commy story, but hey, that’s how I roll.

I’m finding the use of the board to be very good for me. In the past I’ve always tried to plot out the movie in my head, figuring that if I can’t remember it without writing it down, it must not be a good enough idea.

I later decided that this was ridiculous.

The board is nice and visual, y'know? I can set it up there on the desk at work and stare at it for half an hour while ideas surge around. Then I can find the place where the idea actually fits. I can gaze at the story outline in visual form and figure out where the structural weak points are. I can move things around, cut and replace, and it all happens right there before my eyes.

It’s a beautiful thing.

So I have this new idea roughly plotted out. The Cousins script was the first time I did an actual outline before moving on to the draft. And because I was doing the 14-day thing, even that was a rushed outline, which will no doubt be apparent to those of you who actually read it.

In this case, I have no such deadline. So I spent this week coming up with a structurally sound outline and deciding what basic character types I wanted. Next week I will move on to some serious character development. This is supposed to be funny, and good comedy depends (in my book) on spectacular and outrageous characters.

Character is, in my own opinion, the thing I am absolutely the worst at, so I’m not sure how long I’ll spend on character development before I have it right. By that time, the plot of the movie may also be all different, because I will be making changes to it as the characters demand.

So I’m in for an exciting time, I think. Drafts are obviously the big rush, and I’ve determined that I can crank one out pretty fast what with my long empty nights at work. But I want each successive first draft to improve. John August claims that he only does one draft. That’s pretty damn good. That’s a good goal, and one only gets there through improving one’s planning skills.

Meanwhile, I need Greg to sell his stupid script and come back here so he can tell me when my ideas suck. I prefer to sidestep the suck when possible.