HOW TO ADD MORE, TO ACHIEVE MORE—WHILE ENDING UP WITH LESS
After allowing the screenplay to slow-cook in my subconscious over the weekend, I came to the conclusion that what I had produced so far was just not good enough. This wasn’t just a vague feeling but related to specific weaknesses that further reads identified.
Certain areas weren’t clear; some of the dialog lacked crispness; and there were a couple of continuity issues.
So much for finishing my work last week feeling thrilled that I had hit my target length. Length alone, albeit important, is only an element in the mix (as the actress might have said to the bishop).
Actress and bishop jokes were a feature of THE SAINT books by Leslie Charteris. I read about 14 of them when in my early teens before gravitating to another genre—probably Science Fiction.
It’s actually quite intriguing trying to figure out how to eliminate two pages or so from a screenplay which you previously had thought was cut to the bone. However, this is where a couple of days away from one’s work—plus lots of sleep—makes all the difference.
Words, phrases, and sometimes whole paragraphs, leap off the page and scream: “I’m unnecessary,” or “I’m in the wrong place.”
Then they form a line and do a passable imitation of RIVERDANCE. After that, some are moved but most are—to put it bluntly—executed. Being a word is hazardous.
A writer just has to harden his heart.
No wonder we writers are so tough to live with.