So, I spend a lot of time writing about writing, and writing about being a writer, but I don’t often put my money where my mouth is and show my writing. Part of that is natural screenwriting paranoia; it’s standard to avoid sharing scripts on the ‘net to avoid theft, and even though I’m not terribly worried about it, I follow my colleagues’ example. Some of my writing is publicly available, but not all.
But you read me here, whether out of morbid curiosity or genuine belief that I’m saying something worthwhile. For better or for worse, you’re on this journey with me. So why should I be completely closed off?
After the jump: One of the rare projects where I’ve gotten halfway through a script, shrugged and decided to bin it, alongside some commentary. Twenty-four pages of script with the rest of the episode outline attached to the end of it.
At World’s End, “Dream of a Better World (Pilot) [PDF]
Partial Draft Plus Outline
I’m always open to finding new projects to build up experience on, and this was definitely a ‘for the experience’ project. A by-the-numbers sci-fi survival story with a few potential twists, it really was about getting another pilot under my belt. I came up with the concept and outlined the pilot inside of one 5-hour work shift, and expected writing to go fairly rapidly. And the first ten, fifteen pages did. Then, the introduction of a hundred other, more interesting projects collided with the fact that I wasn’t terribly interested in finishing this pilot.
What I Like About It: I kept with this idea for so long after I’d gotten bored with it for two reasons. The first: the lead, Kara Wallace. You may disagree, but I found her voice immediately spoke to me, loud and clear, and I loved writing her. For the first eight pages, I was in heaven, giving her a series of frustrating sparring partners I could play her off. After those opening pages, as the shit begins to hit the fan, she gets trampled by the growing ensemble and the procedure of how to survive, and I lost my hook into the script.
The other is the chance to be a bit more visual with my descriptions. A first page with no dialogue, for example, is a huge no-no, so this was a rarity for me… and I loved getting to stretch those muscles.
What I Don’t Like About It: Most of it, to be honest. The by-the-numbers plotting, the lack of urgency, the flatness of most of the ensemble’s voices. About ten pages into it, it completely loses energy. I couldn’t get any character to come out as sharp as I’d wanted: Sam isn’t funny or sweet, Jack’s bitchiness sounds recycled through a thousand other shows, etc.
Anyhow, this isn’t a passion project, and it’s half of a first draft, so I’m happy to share it as a shard of my writing for those curious.