First Things First


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.

(off Director)

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.

(off Director)

Is there?





Time, I think, for a checklist.

A Tui cap.

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4 Replies to “First Things First”

  1. OMG, i’m so laughing my ass off… and that is why I asked you to help out. There’s none of the making nice shit, when really, there’s nothing to make nice about. If it’s crap, i trust that you’ll tell me it’s crap…I only live in desperate hope that one sunny day in the not-too-distant future, that it will NOT be crap and you will pat me on the back and say “well done paduwan”….

  2. i’m more of a “that’ll do” kind of consultant than a closet jedi master (i had to google ‘padawan’). sorry. but best you know now.

  3. Thanks for writing, I very much liked your newest post. I think you should post more frequently, you evidently have natural ability for blogging! – go to my favorites!!!

    1. thanks you fucking .ru spam fucking bot there’s something about this time of year when the spambots get more and more personable that just… deepens my hatred for this time of year.

      good for my stats, but.

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