Saturday, September 6, 2003

SP2 well underway

by Suw on September 6, 2003

I was going to do this second screenplay 'properly', i.e. I was going to sit down and structure it correctly, outline it and, once I was sure I had all the elements in all the right places, only then would I commence writing.

Of course, me being me and having the patience of a brick, I got half way through the outline, realised I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen in the middle bit and didn't get any further. Thursday, I decided enough was enough and that I may as well get on and write the damn thing for all the good outlining was doing me. After all, if I can get the two ends in place, I can always join them up later on.

Today having had loads of time to sit and work on it, I find that even my outline has turned out to be wrong. I'm stuffing scenes in that I didn't realised I'd thought of, shuffling other scenes round so that it flows better and generally paying little or no attention to the original plan.

I had had a feeling that that might happen. (Tee hee, two hads, two thats. What a sentence.)

Anyway, I am now 21 pages in, and plot point 1 is still in the far distance and I'm starting to wonder if this script isn't going to end up rather longer than the usual 120. Guess we'll have to wait and see. It doesn't matter if it is, it's easier to cut than to fill.

I already have a 30,000 word unfinished novel of this story gracing my c:, so in one sense it's much easier to write than SP1 was, because I'm not constantly having to think of things. Much of the time, I'm just translating prose to screenplay. Of course, that would have half the denizens of coughing and spluttering in rage because I get the feeling that many of them think you're not supposed to do that sort of thing, screenplays not, of course, being the same as a novel.

On the other hand, though, I keep changing stuff and adding in new stuff, and then I do have to think of things. And because I've moved scenes about, I'm constantly shuffling bits of paper trying to find the scene that I'm writing now that used to be a long time after this one but now comes slightly before it.

Still, I'm pleased with the way this is panning out, if not the speed with which it is doing so.

I've done the maths (and yes, V, I know I've said this before…), and it never quite adds up to reality. I can type 80wpm… a screenplay is about 20,000 words, so that means I should be able to knock one out in about 4.2 hours, so long as I already know what I'm going to say. Even if we're conservative and say I type at 50wpm, I still should be able to bang an sp out in a little under seven hours.

So how is it that, after about five hours of writing, I'm still only a sixth of the way through? Huh?

See, this maths thing is just all wrong. Either that or the space-time continuum warps every time I sit down in front of my computer to write.

Or… and I suppose that this is closer to the truth, I need to factor in P, i.e. my procrastination quotient at any given moment. Considering that P is an unpredictable variable, which ranges from the time it takes to go and get another glass of water, have a wee and a wander round the garden (although those last two do not occur simultaneously, I hasten to add) to the time it takes to wake Fflwff up by making strange squeaking noises at her.

As you can see, once you factor P into the equation, you come to see that my estimate of 'a little under seven hours' is out by several orders of magnitude.

Still, first draft will be done by the end of the month. There. How's that for a pronouncement?

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