Friday, December 25, 2009

TODAY'S CHRISTMAS NUGGET: Outlining & Rewriting

You drew a crisp outline.
You maneuvered your way through the 1st draft.
Now you need to rewrite, but you feel lost.
Has your outline has misled you?

Not exactly. Before and during writing, your outlines aren’t very precise. It’s like using a machete to hack your way through the jungle. It’s not pretty, but it will do.

However, the outline takes on a different purpose in rewriting. Now it’s a laser that cuts through the fat.

A few tips:

1. Before rewriting, look at your outline for holes.
- Does your script still have all the turning points?
- What page does your protagonist show up? Antagonist? How often do they conflict?
- Where does the tension screw stop tightening?

2. When you locate a hole, check internal, external conflict, subtext, emotional arcs, story arc. Five passes? I have to make five passes on one hole? Well, yes.

3. Does the fix continue to push the story? IT MUST PUSH STORY FORWARD. ALWAYS FORWARD.

4. Write with one eye on the script, one eye on the outline.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: By now, your outline should be battered & well used. Kind of like a badge of the battle.

You’re circling the gold at this point. Even if you experience major earthquakes, don’t throw away the map! It can still help you avoid dead ends and paths already traveled.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!

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