A post with no point

I’m stuck in the middle of the re-write from hell at the moment. It’s taking ages to get done, despite having written a new outline which details all the things which need changing.

The problem is, whereas in the broad stream of things the changes all make sense, when I’m going into detail with every scene – they don’t.

It doesn’t make sense for a character to know certain information – because she would use it. So I stop her finding out, but then a specific role she fulfils later on has do be done by someone who knows this info. If I get her to find out later, I have the same problem. So I have to create a new character.

But then the new character has to …

And on and on it goes. So far, every scene has had to be re-written – and not just tweaked, totally re-written. There’s a certain point in a script when the re-writes get so in depth it’s easier to ditch the script and start again.

I’m not at that point, but I’m not far off it. I think there will only be three sequences left untouched by the time I’ve finished, and I’m not really sure about one of them.

And there’s more trouble to come. The director’s asked for a change to one of the characters and I just can’t get a handle on her. He wants her more sophisticated, but she keeps ending up cold and boring. Possibly because I don’t know anyone who’s sophisticated without being stuck up.

I think the problem is I view the word ‘sophisticated’ as an insult along the lines of ‘pretentious’ and, weirdly for a writer, ‘creative’ and ‘artistic’.

When people hear I’m a writer, they inevitably say: “You must be very creative.”

Which to my mind sounds like: “You must be a cunt.”

What kind of wanker would describe themselves as creative, let alone very creative? How the fuck do you answer that question?

“Yes. Yes I am very creative. You may touch me now.”

I frequently describe myself as a genius, but that’s just simple arrogance; and hey, if you were as clever as me, you’d be arrogant too.

And as far as I’m concerned ‘artistic’ is only one step away from ‘autistic’.

The best painter I ever met never once mentioned ‘the transcendent nature of reflected light and its influence on the artist’s choice of pigment’ – he just put the paint on the canvas.

Then went to the pub.

Similarly, a writer just puts a story on paper. I do it because I like telling stories. I used to do it a lot when I was a kid, but back then they called it lying. Turns out, if you write it down you get paid for it.

Time will tell if I’m any good at it.

Sorry, this post is spiralling out of control. I have no idea what my point is and I really should get back to being stuck on the script. I’ll leave you with this one story which sums up why I hate artistic people. I think I’ve told it before and I’ll probably tell it again because I tend to repeat myself a lot:

I was standing in Kwik-Fit or ATS or one of those places, and there was a girl in front of me who was filling in a form to get credit for a £70 exhaust. She was complaining because there was no tick box for ‘Doctor’ on the form.

“Look, there’s one for Miss, Mrs, Ms but no Dr.”

The sixteen year old spanner monkey couldn’t really get to grips with her argument.

“Can’t you just tick one of the others?” He, quite reasonably I thought, asked.

To which she flies into a rage.

“No. I worked hard for my doctorate in ART. I want to tick a box marked doctor.”

Do you know when you want to tap someone on the shoulder and tell them how much of a twat they’re making of themselves? Or that perhaps a doctorate in art is the reason they need to get credit on a £70 exhaust?

Anyway, that’s it. There’s no point, just a meaningless ramble and some vague insults. I’m going back to my script now.

Categories: Random Witterings, Rants | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “A post with no point

  1. Gordon Robertson

    You think YOU’VE got problems? I’m writing outlines for a talking suitcase.


    Wanna swap?

  2. You’ve been commissioned by a talking suitcase?

  3. Gordon Robertson

    I see what you did there. Smart-arse.

    It’s a doc / mock doc thing told partly from the POV of a suitcase as it travels home from Israel to China. You know the sort of thing. You’ve seen it a million times before.

    Last night I was writing about a bulldog filling out Government forms.

    I think that’s called progression.

  4. At least it keeps you off the streets.

  5. Gordon Robertson

    I was writing it in the street.

  6. Ah, been kicked out of the house to make way for the new arrival?

    I expect full details on the travel doc by email. It sounds intriguing. I am intrigued.

  7. What about having your character sophistocated in a way you respect? Your idea of cool, or accomplished or talented…

  8. The problem with her is her position and social status don’t really lend themselves to her doing/being anything useful.

    In the first draft I had her as a socialite daddy’s girl who seemed vapid and pointless on the surface but actually yearned for more meaning in her life. She was cleverer than her friends would allow her to be.

    I think the first step to making her more sophisticated is to find out what the director thinks sophistication is. To me it means stuck up, icy and boring, I’m pretty sure that’s not what he had in mind since she’s the principle love interest.


    SOMEONE: What do you do?
    ME: I’m a writer.
    SOMEONE: Really? That’s so creative. Y’know, there’s this story I’ve always wanted to write…

    Interminable hour later.

    SOMEONE ELSE: And what do you do?
    ME: I’m a tax inspector.

  10. Pingback: Back on track « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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