Friday, August 17, 2007

The Road to Now, pt. 4

Off To War

Ah re-writes. I hate the idea of them. I hate every moment before I start them. I get all bent out of shape "how dare the first draft not be perfect?!" Or even worse "how dare the [second/third/fourth..tenth] draft not be perfect!?"

But once I start them, I love them.

It's like writing, but less than half the work.

And so it was with Labor Days. A little over a year ago, I cracked the file open, realized there were a ton of things that could be fixed very easily. And so I did.

I got the page count right, went through and put in panel breaks, and added a shit ton more drama.

(That should always be cardinal rule number one for writing. Don't bore your audience. Ever. They will walk away from you and never come back. Unless you're James Joyce. In which case they might come back to you but only out of some guilt about never having read you.

Back when I used to read screenplays for a living it was a startling revelation how few writers new how not to bore an audience. It is my opinion that so much of understanding screenplay structure, and story structure in general, is simply knowing how to hold interest.

Aside over.)

The watch words for the new Labor Days became things like "emotional poignancy" and "beat up Bags at any opportunity."

And so a leaner, meaner, funnier, fighting weight Labor Days was born.

All told, and working sporadically, the revisions took me about a month to do. Inevitably, the necessitated Rick re-drawing everything. I don't think he minded, as the merits of this new LD were pretty apparent.

Meanwhile, the opportunity to pitch to Oni had come about through rather odd means.