I went to bed late last night/early this morning after working on revisions on the screenplay adaptation of my story “The Hunt.” I’m short a good 20 pages, and I was more than a bit fed up with the whole thing when my head hit the pillow. So, this morning, I decided I was going to take a break from it, get a little distance and perspective before I dived back in.
Keep in mind that I am a disciplined writer, and I am not advocating procrastination. What I decided to do instead was finish reading a book on screenwriting I’m almost finished with. (Studying is a constant part of my life as a disciplined writer as well!) What I ended up with after a few hours of reading was a dozen sticky notes with ideas that came to me about my stunted script while I was busy doing something “else.” Ha!
I also had a back-to-the-basics “duh,” moment when it hit me that what I really need to do is look at the beat sheet and determine where I need them to be page-wise, and then compare that to where they actually are. Is the inciting incident where it needs to be? How about Plot Point 1? Plot Point 2? You get the idea. Doing some simple math will give me the number of pages I need to add, and more importantly, will tell me exactly where I need to add them. Hello, targeted revisions!
I am very fortunate in that my story follows along extremely well with the basic story paradigm already. That’s because I have a decent foundation in setting up the story structure, which is a direct result of that studying I mentioned.
For those of you who have read ‘The Hunt,” no worries, I am not changing the storyline at all. The screenplay follows the actual story very closely. What I’m adding now are details, little things to help make Wuden Hollow a living vibrant world that will shine on a movie screen. Little details and scenes that add to the lasting imagery.
For example, I’m adding a brief moment where a little girl approaches Reverend Michael after the first sermon in the opening of the movie. The wind catches her hair ribbon and blows it into the woods. I’ll use that ribbon in the woods when Michael is deciding which direction to run when being chased. He can either go toward town, or deeper into the woods. Then again at the end, when he sees the girl again, and he gives her back the ribbon. Does anyone remember the girl in the red dress in “Schindler’s List?”
Plus, I’m now back to hair, which is where I started this post. Not bad, huh?