First drafts and the real work

I typed “FADE OUT.” on the first draft of a screenplay yesterday. Which, of course, means that I’m getting ready to really get to work on this thing. I did a little editing along the way, but there’s A TON of stuff that needs to change throughout these 113 pages. Some of these changes are minor, but there are a couple that are going to cause some ground-up revisions of the rest of the story.

This is the part of the process where a lot of people recommend taking some time off. A week. Maybe two weeks. The general consensus is that taking time away from a project is the best way to come at it clean and figure out what’s really working and what’s not instead of changing everything because it feels like a total mess in the moment. That makes a lot of sense, and I’d love to work on my next story for a bit before coming back to this one.

I don’t have that luxury.

The Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship deadline is 10 days away. I told myself I needed to at least take today off, especially after writing nearly 22 pages yesterday in the run-up to the screenplay’s end. But I’m not great at listening to myself. I’m not arguing that 14 hours is enough time away to come at this with a clear head and anything approaching objectivity. It’s not even close. But the looming final deadline of what is arguably the only worthwhile screenplay competition is too strong to deny.

About the project: it’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy horror story set in a completely fictional world. It’s a mix of I Am Legend and Lord of the Rings with some Harry Potter style magic. I’m not saying it’s as good as any of those properties, or even close, but the inspiration all of those stories have given me is undeniable. I’m in no place to say whether it’s any good at this point, but I hope so.

I’ll post an excerpt or two on here once I’m through the chaos of rewriting this over the next 10 days (assuming I’m still functional). Unless things take a serious turn for the worse, I’ll be back next week with my normal mix of games and movies blogging. Because I don’t have enough on my plate already. Clearly.

What are you planning on watching, playing, or reading this weekend? Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll have something extra to add to Monday’s Weekend Recap.

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