Sunday, 17 February 2008

The first long script

I finished a script for a twenty-five minute episode today. The storyline has been processing itself in my head for the last six weeks, and when I sat down to write it practically poured itself onto the page without much interference from me.

Obviously, I was tapping the keys, extracting the dialogue one word at a time; but sometimes when you write it doesn't feel as though you're creating anything. It feels more like channeling the voices of the characters, or like you're taking dictation. And sometimes you're surprised by what they say.

Is this all unbearably pretentious? It might be. But I hope that if you write you know what I'm talking about, because it's a fantastic feeling.

None of this means that the script is any good. I now have to resist the temptation to send it off for criticism. It needs to go into the drawer for at least a week and be forgotten, so that I can read it through and correct any glaring errors or lines that don't work, or (worst case) rewrite the thing from scratch.

The second draft is much, much harder than first. It's like payback for having such a good time at the beginning. It's work.

For now though, it's flawless, and possibly the best script ever written; and I can carry on believing that for as long as it stays in the drawer.

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