Sunday, 29 April 2012

Screenplay finished

... Well, the first draft anyway.

Just one month and three days from starting, the finished 90-page first draft of Salesmen Abroad is complete. When I say it like that it sounds as if I've just knocked it out as fast as I could, but the truth is far from that. I've probably spent in the region of 100-120 hours writing those 90 pages - that's roughly an-hour-and-a-half per page.

Most work day lunches I've been scribbling in my A4 notebook (to the semi-interested questions of my work-mates) and then spent anything up to eight or nine hours after work transferring those scribbles in the Celtx file. And then there's been the weekends ...

Now my one complaint with Celtx is that when you 'format' it into a screenplay, it doesn't follow the formatting as displayed when it's originally written. Or maybe that should be the other way around.

Basically what happens is that what might be a line and a half of dialogue in the original page on Celtx may only be one line once formatted. What this means is that I spend a lot of time going back and forth between original and 'formatted' in order to trim dialogue and action description, to kill the widows. For anyone who's not familiar with that term - a widow is a new line which only has one word. It's a waste of space and takes up as much room as a full line of text, so if they can be trimmed then all the better.

If only the formatted text looked exactly like the text when I write it originally, or as I say, the original text format is how it will be displayed in PDF mode. It would save a huge amount of time. Not an end of the world problem, but there you go.

Anyway, I'm going to sit on the script for a week or so before revisiting it and seeing what - and there's bound to be a what - stands out as needing reworking.

Might have a beer now.

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