Web Log Entry #0066, Sunday, May 4, 2003: Day 167
Anchorage Sunrise: 5:43am Sunset: 10:10pm High Temp: 52° Low Temp: 38°
My log's been quiet lately, not because nothing's happening, but because I've been writing movies. To be specific, I'm preparing 10-page excerpts from four of my screenplays for entry in the Kay Snow Writing Competition. On weekdays when I'm not going to Pilates class, I've been hunkered over the laptop at home, writing. Yesterday was a marathon session, wherein I completed three of the entries. Woohoo!
You may be wondering "Why does it take so long to pull ten pages from a screenplay?" Two reasons: First, a standard screenplay is about 120 pages long. If I'm going to be judged on 1/12th of the whole, I want it to be the best part, so it takes a while to decide what set of sequential scenes best displays my writing. And it needs to be fairly self-contained. If you've ever watched ten minutes from the middle of a movie and had no idea what was going on, you understand what I'm trying to avoid. I do have the option of submitting the first ten pages, but those aren't always the most interesting.
Second, those selected scenes are never just ten pages, they've been 13 to 15 pages long. So the bulk of the time is spent trimming the text to fit. Just cutting out chunks of dialog hurts the flow, so most of the edits are trimming words, phrases, and maybe a whole sentence here and there. I'm a little annoyed that the resulting scenes aren't just shorter, they're better. I thought I'd done a fine job with the originals, but the trimmed versions are tighter, more lively and concise. I guess all those books on writing that go on about the value of "editing" may actually be right. Go figure.
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