Screening the Screenplay
Today was the day. Printing out enough copies of the screenplay for the class, I assigned the various roles to my fellow students and we read through the piece. Afterwards the professor offered his critique. It was both an exhilarating and intimidating process.
Overall, I am very satisfied. I was complimented highly on my writing and told I have an absolutely fantastic ear for dialogue. Too good in fact. So good that I prattle on and on with it when I should just make my point and shut up.
I frequently have the same problem when writing papers—I never have a hard time making the required pages; I have problems staying below them. My wife loves to edit my papers and excise vast portions of my work while I, heartsick, mourn the loss of the poor little words to which I gave birth and then abandoned to a fate worse than death. It’s a sickness. So is my melodrama. I am taking injections.
Everyone really liked the story and the imagery, but as it is such an expository piece, it’s a struggle to keep things interesting and maintain narrative velocity when you have so much information that needs to be presented. Less talk, more action, or more precisely, more action while talking. The characters could do with more rounding out, more personality, more nuance. And, while it was recommended that certain scenes be shortened, I was encouraged to enlarge others.
Now that it’s over, I have to say that it was a fantastic experience and a whole lot harder than I ever anticipated (the writing, not the presenting). Despite that fact that all first scripts are rubbish and Hollywood is currently writing this exact same story without me, I am going to finish the other two acts. For my own edification, my own practice, and who knows, my own future…