Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Sunday, September 23, 2012

93 pages?

Damn...I think "The Alice '65" is gonna be 120+ pages long, because I still have some filling in to do between scenes. But I have the ending written as well as most of the first half, and I'm not holding back on anything, right now. I probably have some repetition I can get rid of, and a touch of condensing that could occur; I just refuse to do that until I have a first draft finished.

When I adapted Beryl Markham's story, "Straight On Till Morning" and "West With the Night", into a script, my first draft was 167 pages long. My second draft -- 134 pages. That one got me Best Adapted Screenplay at Worldfest Houston, far too many years ago. And once I cleaned up my style, it dropped by another 10. Now? I could probably cut out another 5 pages.

One problem I have in sending out some of my earlier work is it's in this old style, where I was far too detailed and specific about things. I still tend towards that, but I'm a lot better than I used to be.

Something I am focusing on is working the theme of the script into the first draft so I can elaborate on it...hopefully in ways that won't be too obvious until Adam's revelation near the end.

I think my inspiration for this is Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights". The movie is funny all the way through, with a strong sense of sentimentality that almost but doesn't quite overpower the comedy. Until the end. When you realize the whole film's been setting you up for moment of absolute truth that is absolutely heartbreaking. It was one of my top five favorite films for years, and is still in the top ten. I'm checking out other movies that might be along the same lines. Tonight I watched "Love, Actually" and it was nice. Very clean and neat, but that's all it wanted to be. I will say, I laughed out loud when I saw Billy Bob Thornton appear as the US President; he was too perfect...and while I think he was supposed to be a Bill Clinton clone, he had Bush II down pat. Too bad Hugh Grant wasn't Prime Minister when Bush was working to get Tony Blair to back invading Iraq...and I did like his little dance.

But it had nothing in it like my A65. Next? "Notting Hill", in which Hugh Grant is a bookshop owner and Julia Roberts is a famous actress. THAT one...I'm nervous about.

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