TPD Project Journal: Good, Getting Better.

Well, I’ve been gone for the last couple of weeks battling a bout of blog-burnout due to 30 Days of Writing. I still have four more days of 30DOW to go and I’ll knock those out soon enough. Though I haven’t been blogging, I have been writing.  Actually, rewriting…somewhat.

As some of you know, I “finished” writing Things People Do a couple months ago. I’ve had to return to the script and rework it a little because I did not do a good job of setting up the characters in the story for the reader/viewer. I believe it’s because the nature of how the script came about.

Originally, TPD was a seven page short story called One Sided Triangle, though now it barely shares any resemblance. It was one of those stories that just came to me one day, and I wrote it in about as much time. Then, I wanted to expand on it and began to rewrite it as novel. Early on, during the novel expansion, I could not stop seeing the story as a film. So, there was the third evolution of the story.

The screenplay wrote itself, and I thought it was complete, but as I said, I failed to set up the characters. Though I drug my characters through a ton of drama and emotional hell, I failed to give the reader/viewer a reason to care about them. I just threw you in the middle of the fire and asked you to save everybody else before you save yourself. Who’s going to do that without a damn good reason? Nobody.  So, I went back into the script, into the story, to give you a damn good reason.

I dove back into my development process, dove deeper into my characters psyches. Within that, some of the minor/supporting characters spoke up a bit and  the main cast of four has now grown to seven. They are truly a colorful and darkly quirky bunch of “us”. TPD is defiantly character driven, so I figured the best way to get you to care about the characters was for me to learn more about them. I switched up my character development process from simple “Fill In The Field” to “Character Interviews”. This helped me a lot, and is also how the minor characters evolved into notso-minor characters. I’m sure they’re happy now.

So, I’ve knocked out the characters. I’m finishing up the locations. I’ve reworked the story’s concept, and outline. Next I’m going to tackle chapters and scene summaries. I’ve given myself what’s left of this year to play around with the development. Jan 1, 2011, I’ll start the rewrite. Well, it’s not really a rewrite. Nearly everything that’s already written is still usable, I actually just have to add the scenes that will set up the characters and the world they live in and rearrange a couple of things. I’m sure some old stuff will get cut because of it, but that’s a good thing.

I’ll keep you updated.


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