Wednesday, July 27, 2005

First Draft done

Well, I'm done.

My version of the "First Draft" of The French Inquisitor has been sent to Steven.

That's right.  I'm done.

So for the next few weeks -- until Steven is done with his edits -- I'll be working on my next writing project:  a nonfiction text I've mentioned before. 

By the time I pick up Steven's "First Draft" version, I'll have a badly needed fresh perspective. 

                       *     *     *

The good news is that my first draft came in at 135 pages, rather than 142.

That just seems like so much less.

                       *     *     *

Sir Knavely has become an important part of the writing process.

See how focused he is?

                       *     *     *

Did I mention I'm looking forward to doing NOTHING connected to the screenplay for the next few weeks?

                       *     *     *

My next writing project is Franchising Independent Girls.  That's not fiction, however.

                       *     *     *

I think the next major fiction project I'm going to pick up will be Scars of the Wind. 

In 1996 when I started writing it, I called it Mennonite Prince.

I think it's a novel.  It's too internal to be a film, at least the way it's currently being conceived.

And since my work with Steven over the next few months will focus on revision of Inquisitor, this could be a good time to begin the rough draft.

Last summer I sketched out the novel, chapter by chapter, then set it aside to do personal research. 

I think that research has been done.

                       *     *     *

It's not like it's hard for me to write.  When you aim to write 120 pages, and your really rough draft comes in at 471 pages ... well, there's a message in there somewhere.

                       *     *     *

Writing a novel would be a very different form than the screenplay.  A screenplay is a blueprint for a film.  It's not a literary document.

Granted, both are based on a powerful story (or at least that's your goal), but the novel is a very different reading experience.

Movie executives don't read screenplays because they love to read.  They like to make movies.  And you have to read screenplays in order to find a good movie to make.

In fact, executives have built up an elaborate system that helps them avoid reading very much.  They have servants (readers) whose job it is to read the shit, so that by the time a screenplay reaches them, it's got a fairly good chance of at least being palatable.

Thus, as a screenwriter, you write for people who hate to read.

                       *     *     *

A novelist knows that his audience -- made up of bookworms -- LOVES to read.  His audience loves curling up in bed on a rainy afternoon (assuming they DON'T live in LA, where not much rain happens) and getting lost in a world of words and imagination.

A screenwriter knows that his audience is trying to stay awake in bed long enough to get through your $@Q*666 screenplay.  They'd love to find an excuse to put it down.  Pass out the Ritalin, folks.

Movie executives would much rather have a power lunch than read your screenplay.

A bookworm would much rather skip lunch to go read a good book.


blbarth said...

Congratulations! I am impressed--even if I have not read it yet!! I am impressed with your perseverance.  


freeepeace said...

Hi. Congratulations.  Your determination is inspiring.
Curious: what'd you think of Agape?

Oh, I found your Journal doing a 'screenwriting' search.  I'm in LA too.  You can find me here:

Keep writing.  Peace.