Monday, April 11, 2005

Editing Mode

I'm at page 94.

I've already cut 33 pages off the screenplay.

Spring break showed a learning curve.

I'm relieved.

                        *     *     *

Things learned so far:

1.  My style of writing changed over the course of the first 233 pages.  Sentence structures became crisp, more active.  Simpler.

2. There's a lot to cut.  For example:

Descriptions that belong in a novel.  Can't be photographed. 

Dialogue that doesn't pop.  Rambling, non-periodic sentences.

Instructions not needed (CUT TO, DISSOLVE TO) for the reader to visualize the story.  The editor doesn't need my help.

Paragraph breaks that take space.

Interpretive directions.  Actors don't want my help either.  I am only the writer.

                        *     *     *

Write action.  Write reaction.  Write dialogue.

                        *     *     *

Powerful film last night:  This House Is Condemned.  Sydney Pollack directed.  Robert Redford and Natalie Wood starred.

How sad, her death.  So beautiful she was.

The film was based on a one-act play written by Tenessee Williams, my favorite playwright.  He understood beautiful language.  And a primary character is always Blanche Dubois.

Wonderful little film!

                        *     *     *

As I was watching The Spy Who Came in from the Cold this evening, I realized why I appreciate the old black and whites.

The studio system nurtured terrific screenwriters.  Film was a writer's medium back then, not a product of the arrogant auteur.

I'm starting to respond to good screenwriting.  Is this "time spent alone in the desert" making an impact on my writing style?

                        *     *     *

Another teaching kudo today.  I was selected for inclusion in the ninth edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2005.

A sophomore -- I taught her in English 7, and now advise her independent study in business -- nominated me.  For privacy reasons, I can't publish it here first.

But it's nice when a student shows gratitude.

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