Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Structure Fail

This is what Keys to the Garden looked like when I originally postnoted it and tacked it up on my wall (at least note that the number of cards/scenes and number of pages are unrelated):

Huge fail. Is Act II actually SHORTER than Act I?

Here's where I went so terribly wrong -- When I wrote the screenplay, I hinged the Act II turning point on a particular beat. However, when notecarding the beats out, I realized that I was completely wrong. The beat that was my former Act II turning point was really just a moment right before the climax. When I posted the beats up on my wall, I separated them into acts based on what are the CORRECT turning points. I had the correct one in there. I was just putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong beat.

I knew Act II had major problems anyway. It is -- obviously -- too short, making the whole story too simplistic. Even when I was notecarding I had my solution. As I've been restructuring it this past week, I've written an entirely new Act IIa. It was actually a pretty simple solution. I had a great backstory for a character which works better -- and is more dramatic -- not as a backstory but current events in Act II that mess with the characters.

I have Act I restructured and re-notecarded. Act II is restructured, awaiting carding. Act III isn't going to change much. The ending was always the ending, and with a hard and fast resolution that I'm not going to change, there're only so many ways you can play with the scenes funneling down to it. But maybe that's where I get stuck sometimes.

Also, this is a great article for anyone interested in writing a rom com. So glad I read it before starting my own.

And, if I can't find someone else who articulates it better than I will before my next post, I'll give my thoughts on Bigelow's Oscar and what it means for women in film.

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