Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The problem with partnering

I'm just over half done with IF, and I'm finding moments where the guy whose story this is has reworked bits of it...and his grammar skills are not the best.  I can forget to put in words and transpose letters and write sentences that are too complex for their own good, but I know enough to start a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a period or something. And it drives me nuts when I stumble across that kind of thing in my work.

I never have been the best collaborator. I absolutely hated doing that when I was working on "Bugzters". I guess I just don't like the lack of control, and honestly feel like I'm the best protector of my characters and the story they're telling me. Which is why it's probably good I'm shifting to novels; I normally have the last word in that format.

Thinking of the other occasions where I've collaborated or done rewrites...the first time I did it, I subsumed my preferences to my partner's. Not a good idea. Half of what I wrote was crap. Then when I was reworking some scripts a couple years ago, I found I'd make the changes I needed to make the story work for me, and when the client didn't like them, I'd all but shrug.

My last one, I withdrew from the rewrite because the original writer, who also was going to direct the script, was locked into a particular story structure that just did not work and wouldn't consider any of the changes I suggested, not matter how hard I tried to convince him. And he didn't believe me when I insisted it was the storyline the characters wanted. What fools these mortals be.

Of course, I'm the same way. Once a story I'm relating is set, it's set, and God himself couldn't get me to change it. It's funny how that works. Some of my scripts just don't want to gel, and no matter what I do to them, they don't settle...and won't until I find the key to the story.

I don't ever give up completely on a story, much as I may think I do. I have one script where I wrote a first draft on back in graduate school...many, many years ago. It still doesn't work...but I think I'm finally getting an idea of what it needs. Now. After probably two dozen drafts and changes left and right in the spine of the story, if not the characters and details.

Aw, man...suddenly I saw myself as a rat terrier, probably one of the most stubborn mutts there is. Grr. Growl. Snap. Snarl.

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