I never thought I’d say my day was saved by revising a screenplay, but yesterday my sanity was saved by opening Final Draft.
Revising is a challenge for me. Not the physcial act of revising, but getting around to it. It’s like a word scramble. You know it by looking at the letters given to you. You know you know it. For some reason you’re trying to figure it out without mixing up the blocks.
Yesterday I was having one of those days that would have been in a comedy script. Oversleeping was the best thing I did before lunch. Then I lost footage from my show. Then my computer and I got into a huge fight, ending with it saying, “You don’t appreciate me!” and dying. Finally I said, “You know what? I’m writing.” Each page I felt like Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace saying, “Charge!” and running up the staircase and the page was the staircase.
A bit ago, I figured out a problem in a screenplay. It was like untying a knot. It was all smooth now except for some kinks where the knot had been. But I hadn’t sat down and actually rearranged the text to help myself out. I decided to do that. I had nothing to lose. Except the way my day was going I was afraid I’d lose the text.
As I cut and paste, stress lifted. The revisions were working! Look at that! A flowed to B. Stakes raised. Act II was no longer a chatty wasteland. I could now see the true weak spots where I needed to add a scene, explain something. I got to see how I had all the components, I just need to flesh out some things.
Now it’s not there yet. Some scenes will be rewritten. But that’s tomorrow. I was able to close the work day with something going right. I wrote a decent screenplay over the summer. I just needed to rearrange the blocks.