Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dry white wine

I finished the first phase of editing Tec yester-eve. As I ate breakfast this morning I realised there were a couple of points that needed clarification in the story - major oops.

This is a British Private Investigator-type series with a main character who's as outlandish, in her own way, as Sherlock Holmes, House or Patrick Jane (the Mentalist). She has her specialisations and there are certain things that are, to her, completely obvious.

In that "doh!" moment I realised that there is no story explanation of those things that are obvious to her. She just says "it's obvious" - now I know why it's obvious to her but I have to indicate, in some easy non-expositional way, why. Without explanation there are major plot points in the solution of the crimes that are glossed over, as far as the audience is concerned.

I also realised that her side-kick, who is actually her boss, (similarities to the Mentalist are striking but I started this before the Mentalist appeared. Damn, Torchwood clashes with the Mentalist tonight - no competition, Torchwood wins.) Where was I, oh yes, there's a bit where she's dealing with money - that's her boss's job.

The next full stage of editing, for me, is to go through and see what can be done about the long talkie scenes. This is a liability with cop and doc drama - loads of talking, little action, limited locations. But I'm not taking it for granted.

This process worked very well for Air, if you read the first ten pages (see the link on this page) the scenes at the top of the tower, first in the room and then on the roof were originally all in the room and it was just talk. I added the action that moved them from the room to the roof which cut the long scene in half and added momentum.

After the night of a thousand red pens, cutting huge swathes of dialogue from Tec, and then the addition of the important extra scene (as mentioned yesterday) I have about 6 minutes of screen time to play with, should be plenty.

This evening I wrote my first creative input into the Clones collaboration, the backstory was a bunch of incoherent ideas (in the sense that they did not stick together, rather than illiterate), curiously enough they became coherent by turning the backstory upside down. I realised I was reading it the wrong way up*.

Tomorrow we should hear about the CBBC/Writersroom. Tense? Moi?

*Yes, that was a joke - so dry that if it were a wine it would be dust in the bottom of the glass.

What's on the turntable? "It's a Hard Life" by Queen from "Greatest Hits II"

1 comment:

Rachael Howard said...

CBBC deadline tomorrow. Gulp. As to being nervous... Moi Aussi.

And don't knock reading stuff upside down. Or backwards come to that. Brings a totally different perspective on the story. But it does make your laptop topple onto the floor.