INT. ROOM – AFTERNOON
Our WRITER – wearing his script consultant hat* – sits with a writer/director who we shall call DIRECTOR.
They each have a copy of the Director’s SECOND DRAFT SCRIPT in front of them: the Writer’s copy has notes scrawled in the margins; the Director makes notes on her copy as they go along.
They are well into their session:
– this exchange on page thirty between LoverBoy and LoverGirl doesn’t work for me. I can see that their dialogue is supposed to set up the coming confrontation as well as strengthen their love for each other but –
(turns back a few pages in his copy)
– you’ve established LoverGirl to be feisty and funny and sexy in two earlier scenes but on page thirty... she’s none of those.
Not even with ‘the thing’ thing?
Especially with ‘the thing’ thing.
But I like ‘the thing’ thing.
I like ‘the thing’ thing, too, but it’s out of character for LoverGirl. Either give a very good reason for her out-of-character moment –
Director scribbles on her draft.
– or establish LoverGirl differently –
Director scribbles furiously to keep up.
– or cut it.
D’you see what I’m getting at?
If you disagree, you need to say something.
You’re right. It’s out of character for her.
So which will you do?
(looks at her notes)
I don’t know.
Fair enough. Fix it.
He smiles to take the edge of his brusqueness. He looks at his draft:
Now as for LoverBoy –
Is there ANYTHING you like about this draft?
It was at this point that I realised that I’d totally forgotten to kick off our session with
a prayer an overview of the draft – I had selfishly ranted about a recent production that I’d seen.
I had forgotten that the session was not about me but about the writer and their work.
The Director’s question seems to echo off the walls as the Writer sits very still, mind racing.
It’s certainly an improvement on the first draft. The story’s skeleton is good and sound. You’ve begun to flesh out your characters. You’ve reduced their dialogue but they’re saying a lot more now.
There’s nothing I can say at this point that won’t have the whiff of trying to make nice.
Time, I think, for a checklist.
* A Tui cap.