Thursday, April 3, 2008

Scrit Frenzy: Update the First

On the first day, the Script Frenzy site said that nearly 600 pages had been crafted already. I had none of them. Yesterday, I contributed 18.

That's right, issue #1 is in the rough draft stage. With another 4 pages shortly to follow since I'm going to polish off the first back-up script, too.

It's not completely done and there are a few places where I've skipped over completely blocking a scene out and, instead, just settled for describing a fight scene by saying, "Insert awesomeness here". And there are some places where I'd like to tune up the dialog. But, hey, that's why it's a first draft.

The important thing is that I've got one issue done and now I can focus the next. Soon, I'll be getting one storyline done and then one complete arc and so on as I set and meet my goals along the way. Which should make it easier to meet those goals since I'll be getting more of a feeling of accomplishment along the way. Gotta love that positive reinforcement.

But, In other words, the first day I wrote 0, today I finished 22 (More, probably, since I'm a wordy bastard. But I'm going to count by pages of the finished book rather than pages in the printed out script. That way, when I get to the end, I can have the pleasant surprise of my final count surpassing expectations.).

That's not exactly surprising since I'm working under snowflake principles. Growing a project, like a crystal, by building from small, general principles to more complex details.

What I've done is to take my outline - which includes a detailed breakdown of the plot, issue by issue, along with which characters and themes I want to include in each - which I set down before the month began. Then, I use that as a guide to write a summary of each issue. From that summary, I break the issue down into scenes, figuring out how many pages each is going to take. I then fill those scenes by writing out exactly what I want to happen, just like I'd write out a short story. Next, I try to write out each scene as completely as I can, without caring about how long it's going to take or if I'm running out of room - setting out the dialog and the description in one big meaty chunk. I then break that up into panels and dialog, converting it into script format.

Setting out the summary and writing it up is the slow part of the process, it took me all of Tuesday and some tweaking besides. Because that's the part where I have to think and invent as I go along. Reformatting it into a script - which ate up yesterday - involves some of that sure, but it's more like discovering what I'd meant to be there all alone rather than trying to figure out what I want to do.

But that's exactly the pace I want to maintain. Maybe I'll get lucky as I go along and scripts will coalesce in front of me. Or I'll have enough time - over the weekend, say - to crank out one or two a day. But if I can get an issue done every two or three days, back-up or no, then over the 30 days of the competition I can get more than half of them done and that'll put me in the stretch run to close the project out. It also should leave me enough time to work on everything else I have to get done this month.

Again, by setting smaller goals from a sliced up larger project, I feel I'm going to be much further ahead.

So, first progress report is that I'm doing just fine, working at about the pace I want to be, and getting done what I want to have done at this point.

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