I finished it!
My pilot for Room 31. First draft anyway. Sent it off to the writers’ circle and I anxiously await notes. My goal is to have a second draft complete by the end of August.
The story itself is fairly mature. I’ve been working on it, and refining it in some form or another for over a year. I feel good about the work I put out. The scenes I mentioned in my previous post got a lot of attention, but I didn’t implement the changes I talked about. I realized that juxtaposing those scenes on top of each other would negatively affect the overall story.
Some things need their own time and their own space. To this end, I went into those scenes and did a lot of cutting. I also got the characters up on their feet, moving them through space, so the director wouldn’t be stuck with seven pages of dialogue centred around a table. This tactic essentially breaks one long scene up into three mini-scenes, with each mini-scene having an arc of its own.
I have questions about some of my characters. Some are intentionally written to be one-dimensional, with corny dialogue to match. What’s the difference between bad writing, and good writing dressed up to appear bad? Am I simply fooling myself into thinking I don’t have to drill deeper into these characters and scenes?
The conflict in some of my scenes, which feature these one-dimensional characters, is also quite superficial. The audience (reader) will have seen these types of scenes a zillion times over. I am setting out to defy expectations by de-empathizing the major (superficial) conflict and heightening the subtle nuances of the background characters, where my protagonist dwells. This tactic creates two worlds within the story, one for heroes (one-dimensional), and one for stock characters (three-dimensional).
Again, I wonder if I’m committing a grave error by intentionally sabotaging the world of the heroes.
In submitting my script to the writers’ circle, I kept those thoughts to myself. If I flag potential problems ahead of time, I may not get a true bearing on how well I’m balancing the situation. If others in the group pick up on ’em on their own, then it’s something I need to look at.
Though I feel good about the script, I’ve never felt so uncertain about how well I’ve executed a story structure. Only time will tell.