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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



As a popular show (that, in fact, had been done badly first and then superbly much later on) put it "all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again." (and I'm sorry if you liked the original, but it was largely possessed of teh suck).

Some of my best spec scripts, at least in my subjective opinion, are the direct result of some total crap. My House spec, which has served me well so far, is essentially a rewrite of a House that I basically forced myself though about a year prior. I got to the last page of it, read though it and decided it was total crap. After having written a thing or two...or five...else, I decided I still wanted a House spec in the rotation, and I did a lot of research for that first one, so I started with that crap script and rebroke it from top to bottom. A page-one rewrite. The logline is the same, but little else. The time away let me come back fresh.

My current Dexter spec only found focus after completing a considerably less focused draft and letting my writer's group have at it.

Now, I think it's time to pull some Daisies. I got though a Pushing Daisies draft a few months ago. Even before I was done, I wasn't wild about it. I felt that I was nailing the voices, but the plot felt strained and contrived. The B-plot sucked harder than Cygus X-1. At one point I even gave it to a friend to read and then asked her not to read it. I hope she didn't.

Since then, I've gone though a pilot, aborted on a one-act, but started another and wrote a short radio play. And actually, that Dexter was pulled together after the vomit draft of the Pushing Daisies. And that's really what it was, a vomit draft. Point is, last night I decided that enought time had passed, and started thinking about that Pushing Daisies. My first problem was that the story didn't get going quickly enough. I couldn't quite crack it before, but it totally came to me in minutes this time. I've flushed the B-plot and have some new contenders with a stronger focus on the theme...and I'm reconsidering who dunnit in the whodunnit portion of things.

I feel there will be a strong spec after I tear this down and put it back together again.

So, I say to you...if you feel your script isn't quite working, or you're not happy with your outline but can't seem to crack it...write it anyway. You might find your way while you're in the middle of executing that script, but if you don't you need to vomit that shite out of your system.

Then, and pardon the imagery, file that bile away. Come back to it later. A couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months. It'll look different than you remembered it, and you'll spot the problems easier. And you might find the solutions with a less tainted eye.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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