I’m about to rewrite my novel. I am determined to do it. I have two plans of attack. The first is from Syd Field’s book Screenplay: The Foundations of Screewriting, which helps get your mind focused and clear before you embark. The second is from a free teleseminar I took with Screenwriting U. Just from listening to the call, I had more ideas of what I could do and felt I had a better grasp on the different stages of rewriting. I’m a little older now as a writer. I know it’s going to take a couple passes to complete and it’ll take time. That’s also the reason I decided to start with Syd Field’s prep.
Syd has you write three quick essays after you’ve let the work settle for a week. In the first essay you write about what originally attracted you to the project. There were a couple of things. Last summer I became fascinated by the 1960’s and 1960’s music. I also discovered the Beatles and really got into their work. I love the movie Hard Days Night. I thought it was so much fun. I loved the playful tone.
I also loved watching the audience in the concert scenes. When those girls screamed, they truly screamed. Actually swooned. At concerts today, it’s expected. But watching the footage from concerts in the 60’s, it’s the start of the shift. I wanted to capture that loss of innocence. That phrase makes it sound dirtier than it is–it’s that first crush or love except magnified. You can’t believe you could have feelings like that for another human and they are out of reach. They may not exist. You’ve never met them but you feel you know them. They could be a figment of your imagination. But at that concert you realize they’re real. Within feet of you. Your body boils over and you react by screaming. I created a character to capture that. I also thought it’d be fun to have the one person who didn’t care about the band, the one woman who was able to look John Lennon in the eye and say, “You’re not all that.” He’d flirt with her just to win her over, just to win. It’d be a great battle.
In the second essay you examine what you actually did write, because you set off to write one thing than something else becomes easier/more fun to write about. I started in the 1960’s but quickly moved it to present day. I was thinking too much to write. I made notes of all the things I had to research, check, clarify, and would this be a young person who didn’t live during that era telling someone who did how things went?
I realized I wrote a lot about appearances and perceptions. I look forward to working up those themes. People think the boys in the band don’t care about anyone but themselves and their money, but they do. Fame was accidental and kind of interrupted their plans. One family appears to be sane and successful when the daughter is manipulative and an obsessed fan who is willing to go to immoral extremes just to meet the band. Another family who should be falling apart over everything that happens only gets stronger.
In the third essay, you decide what do you have to do to change what you have written into what you wanted to write. How are you going to pick up these tracks and move them so you’re going where you intended to go? I ended up in a better place than I set off for. I thought it was going to be a fun, sweet little story where you root for one character and are relieved when they win. It still is. I get to clarify and straighten out some things. Amplify and raise things to a next level. I get to make things funnier. This essay ended up much more of a check list so I’m going to rewrite it. I’m going to suggest actual ways I’m re-routing my train.
Then onto stage two from Screenwriting U.