Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Digging into Air

So I had another go at Air this evening, and made a bit more progress. Wrote the first bit of dialogue which doesn't include Air.

Then I went and read some more of Russell T Davies's "A Writer's Tale".

Then went back and realised that the second scene is currently developing into rubbish ... because it's going nowhere. It's a typical problem when you've writing something that sits in a completely different world. You have to communicate all the world's rules without it being obvious exposition.

I ultimately achieved this in Monsters by cheating: I wrote the credit sequence to be a complete info dump on 50 years of history - in just 4 lines of script space.

I don't have that kind of freedom with Air, plus the fact that after the credits we'll be in the real (i.e. our) world. I've got 2-3 pages to set up an entire fantasy world and the protagonist's goal before throwing her into a completely different realm. Talk about making things easy for yourself.

And the second scene is useless. Oh well, it'll come to me.

On the subject of RTD's book I'm so pleased that I agree with him on so many points, like having to write a script in order ... he does it that way, couldn't do it any other way. I'm the same, I have ideas about future scenes but could never write them out of order. As RTD says, each scene is informed by the ones that go before.

This is such an important book for budding TV writers, I'm not saying that we should all get into the panics over deadlines the way he does. That would be bad. But the insight into the whole production process in addition to his experienced view of the writing process as it applies to TV, makes this a masterclass in very nicely produced book form.

I said I wasn't going to write a review until I'd finished it. Too late. And I'm only halfway through.

What's on the turntable? "House Carpenter" by Pentangle from "Light Flight". Another tale of lust, betrayal and ultimate doom. Good stuff.

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