Jazz called me up today at 4:30 and asked me if I wanted to join her at Starbucks. She said we could sit across a table from each other and NOT talk to each other. That’s our code for hanging out without making an effort.
I accepted the invitation, and here I am. She didn’t even need a ride anywhere. We’re actually here and we’re blissfully NOT talking to each other. If only other parents could enjoy the sort of relationship Jazz and I have.
My short scripts are coming along nicely. I finished the second one this morning. I like them both, and I’m very proud of them – which unsettles me. What am I not seeing?
In times past, whenever I finished a script, I loved it and felt it was ready for the world to see. I’ve since developed a heathy distrust for my opinion of my own work, immediately after completion. The various incarnations of Room 31 has gone through a dozen or more revisions. Not Being A Dick has gone through ten. Machiavelli & Tymes was only eight pages long, and it still needed three passes.
In reflecting back on these two latest scripts, I run through my checklist. Does each character have a strong objective? Does each character fight to win that objective? Is there conflict in the scene? What is the source of this conflict? Have I replaced dialogue with action wherever possible? Have I made sure the characters NEVER speak their subtext? Do they HAVE subtext?
I’m a bit insecure about the second script. Six pages of two characters talking on a park bench. It times out at just under four minutes. The two characters are best friends, and the first is playing his objective, as much to himself, as he is to his friend. His friend simply doesn’t want to be there, but has agreed to stick around to see what his buddy wants.
Half way through the scene, the first guy breaks down crying. His friend is now forced to comfort him. The objective for the second friend changes. The first friend seems to have abandoned his first objective.
Or has he?
Maybe his objective is to move his headspace to a better place, and the means by which he accomplishes this, comes in an unexpected way.
Or maybe I’m just making up excuses for a script that needs another pass.