Sweater Threads

So for the three of you have been wondering, the house is pretty much fixed (hurray for good water), and the rewrite has been finished and emailed to the interested party.

I don’t think he’s too interested, because he seems to be leaning toward doing a short rather than a feature, but the whole situation gave me good motivation to finish the draft, so I’m not complaining at all.

This draft was the second, and it was significant. I’ve never done a second pass at a script before. (I tend to lose faith in my own work before I even get there.) So this was my first encounter with the phenomenon that I shall henceforth refer to as “Pulling at the Sweater Thread.”

That is, every time you make a seemingly small change, it will force you to change five other things you hadn’t previously realized would be impacted.

For example, I decided that one of the characters should be met several pages earlier than she was in the original draft. Hours later, I found that I had been forced to write a completely new scene with that character and the hero, as well as moving several of the hero’s other scenes around into a completely different order. I then had to change a bunch of scene transitions that now didn’t make any sense, and finally drag in a much later scene that seemed to want to go there.

Needless to say, my script is quite different now. Same movie. Even, same basic plot. But better: more concise, more structured, and with better character development.

Of course, the outline is now so different that when I tried to pitch it to someone yesterday, I couldn’t even remember where all the beats went. Thank goodness it was only Greg, and not someone who is actually part of the development process (as if I would know someone like that, anyway).

I give myself the rest of the week off, and then it’s draft-three time. Already making mental notes for it, because I can’t help myself.

Ryan Elainska