Friday, August 27, 2010

The Rewrite and A Prom Dress

Okay. I am rewriting an old-ish script. This is a pilot from hmm...about a year ago. And the closest thing I can relate this to is putting on an old Prom dress.

Shall I explain?

When I look at old pics of me in dresses that I've worn over the years I often go... "Oh my God! I wore that?!" or "What was I thinking!?" "Look at that color!" "That hemline and my hair...who uses that much hairspray??" Am I alone in this reaction to pictures from the past?

I've discovered that I have the same reaction when I return to writing I did over a year ago. "Oh my God! I wrote that?! and "What was I thinking?" "An act break there?" "Where is the conflict?!! You can't have a story without conflict!"

I believe (clutch to) the idea that as a writer I get better with every project I complete. My skills are better. My dialogue is better. My story structure is better. My spelling...(well that is what spell check is for) remains the same.

Revisiting a piece of writing that I haven't read in a while is akin to slipping into an old dress. I sit there in front of the computer and wonder how can I make this fit me, the writer that I am now. Well...it ain't easy. I've gotten out the scissors in the form of cut and paste. I've found some new material (that word works in the dress analogy and the writing.) And I sit and stare at the screen...a lot. And think. And pull my hair. And pace. And bite my bottom lip. But the one thing I know that makes this story worth it? The material is classic. It's a great idea that I still love. I want to take my (hopefully) better skills and make this script better. Make the story structure tight and the characters stronger with all that I've learned from all the stories I've written.

And perhaps that is the key. That we do change and we aren't stagnate. In embracing this script, the past script, a core idea that is really a good one, and using my skills I can make this a unique piece of material.

Now if only I could get rid of all the pictures of that gold lame´ prom dress.

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