Thursday, May 13, 2010
Cloudy and cool
We have heat! And the repair guys came to fix the bolt on the door in the morning (which hasn’t worked since the new doors were put in) and the intercom in the afternoon (which hasn’t worked for three years). Everyone was very nice, and each repair was done in about ten minutes. Elsa, of course, was right in the midst of everything, making new friends. If only relations with the landlords would stay pleasant, but I’m sure they’re dreaming up some fresh hell for the tenants.
In and around the repairs, I completely restructured the first section of SETTLING THE SCORE. Now, I have a series of quick scenes setting up the characters up front, once we’ve set up Lucas at the gravesite. You don’t know WHY these people are connected, but the group photo that sends Lucas on his journey is established early with the various characters who are in it, and it brings it back to being an ensemble story, my original vision, instead of simply Lucas’s story I’m tightening a lot of the scenes already there, but now, I think it has a better flow. Everyone important (hero and villain) is established early on, with the audience not entirely convinced who falls into which camp, and then we see Lucas bringing things together with the news of his father’s murder, and pieces of the ensemble’s former connection and strong emotional ties coming through. It’s less linear, but more cinematic, which, being a screenplay, matters. And I chose NOT to go with flashbacks, which I think is a stronger choice.
Should I decide to adapt the final screenplay into novel form (because, for me, where I am in my career, that would probably sell faster, unless these early summer meetings land me something quickly I don’t expect), I will go back to a more linear format.
As I moved through the material, tweaking it, I also incorporated the notes I made the other night. It will still run long, but I can then make more internal cuts and collapse dialogue and make things more specific in further rewrites.
Watched LIE TO ME last night, for the first time. Liked Tim Roth’s work a lot, on the fence about the whole show. It’s trying to masquerade as an ensemble vehicle, without making the supporting characters strong enough. Tim Roth is an interesting and inventive enough performer to deserve equal matches around him, in fact, I think it would even elevate what he’s doing, and he’s not getting the challenge. A lot of that, I think, is in the writing. I see why it’s a show on the bubble. There are some really good ideas in it, but the execution feels diluted.
This morning, I will write for an hour or so, but then I’m getting in the car and driving up to CT. I’m actually going shopping — Mercury is retrograde, and I want to see if I can pick up a few things I need. I have my tickets booked for the out of town job at the end of next week. I got a lovely orientation packet from the pottery workshop. Now that I see who’s teaching it, I am Very Intimidated. This place is for pros, not dabblers. And I’m going to find out if I really like working in clay, or if I only like the IDEA of working in clay. I’ll make my decisions from there.
I’ve already had to cancel plans to attend two writing conferences, a yoga conference, a trip to Maine, a trip to Seneca Falls,and two trips to Canada due to Elsa’s illness and the vet bills. I’d really like to participate in something fun, challenging, and unique over the next few months, but it has to be closer to home and not too expensive. We’ll see. I hate having my wings clipped.
By the way, I STILL haven’t heard from the vet. Not happy.
I’m reading a fantastic book called SPANNING TIME: A DIARY KEEPER BECOMES A WRITER by Elizabeth Yates, who won a Newbury Award in 1951. The diaries span her life as a teen in the teens to either the 40s or 50s, and show how determined she was to be a writer rather than a debutante. It’s wonderful, and it certainly makes me want to hunt down and read her other work.