The table read went well last night.
Nine people came over to help bring the words to life and I was pleased with what I heard. It was the culmination of several weeks worth of contemplation and writing. Mostly, I’m pleased with the fact that I got this draft done.
The story is a romantic comedy about divorce. My divorce to be specific. PJ and I would have been married 18 years on June 8. We still call each other every year on that day and we’ve come to call it our ‘Exaversary’. We still love each other, but we’re both on different paths now.
In rewriting material that I first put to paper seven years ago – that I previously thought to be solid – it made me realize how far I’ve come as a writer. In looking back to material, that is so deeply autobiographical – it made me realize how far I’ve come as a person.
I’m in a much better, more mature place as a writer. As a person, the most I can say is that I’m in a different place – not necessarily better or worse. It has been deeply moving to relive all those memories, then evaluate them dramaturgically for their best use in the story.
I cut one scene, wrote a couple new ones, and got the page count down to 102 pages, from 110. I found several scenes where there was minimal conflict, and too much exposition. I tightened up the transitions between scenes, and worked hard to make the whole thing feel more ‘cinematic’ – cutting dialogue in favour of conveying the same idea through imagery.
I didn’t have enough time to plug a few holes I discovered in the rewrite process before people came over last night. A couple other structural things came to light in our discussion after the read. I definitely have some solid places to go to when I pick this up again. I’m a bit torn between jumping right in to make those changes, or giving this draft some time to settle in before I pick it up again.
It’s a good script. A number of producers have asked to read it. Perhaps it’ll be best to give it a couple weeks, rather than a couple years, to see how the next draft goes.