Bells & Whistles

The month ahead involves NO travel for DLB, a welcome development after regular visits to the American Airlines Admiral’s Club at the end of 2011.  As I reacquaint myself with friends/pets/neighbors/noisy parrots, I am also revisiting an unfinished script that has been sitting neglected in my computer for a while now.  MALFUNCTION is a supernatural thriller that has me flexing some new muscles, particularly when it comes to writing action sequences.  I love an exciting action film that’s rooted in believable characters (DIE HARD and TERMINATOR 1 & 2 come to mind), so I think it’s a constructive exercise for me to tackle.


Usually when I begin a script I work off of a one-to-two page outline and write in sequential order from start to finish.  When I started MALFUNCTION back in 2007 (yes, it’s been around that long), I had a story map in place, but certain scenes were clearer to me than others so I decided to just hop around as I wrote.  While it may seem efficient to focus on the easy/fun/straightforward scenes first, after completing seventy-one pages I then found myself faced with the difficult/intense/complicated scenes.  I ran out of steam, which allowed me to become easily distracted by other projects.  I figured I could implement the bells & whistles later.

Not as simple as you'd think...

Well, it’s “later” NOW and as I dive back into MALFUNCTION I am confronting many of the sequences I avoided due to laziness and/or intimidation.  I get daunted by the gaps that have yet to be filled, but I keep reminding myself of the importance of plowing ahead and just getting it done. The challenge of the first draft is that you’re constantly tempted to revise what you’ve already written rather than purge out new material.  But I don’t want to get caught in the vortex of endless noodling that translates to no forward movement.  I like this story and I need to finally rescue this script from my computer.

And then I can rewrite the hell out of it.

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