Saturday, July 17, 2010

Penultimate

Yesterday afternoon/evening, as I was sitting in the hot sun at Argo trying to write and edit, I had a minor existential crisis. This book is all crap! Or at least half of it is! And I can't seem to squeeze this damned 24th chapter out!

I was exhausted by the end of several hours. I don't know if it was the heat or the book, or if maybe it was the other way around -- my exhaustion was causing me to perceive these other problems.

So this afternoon I took a fresh start and finally banged out that second-to-last chapter. It's pretty good:
  • Pitch It -- As writers, we generally expect our work to speak for itself. In Hollywood, though, screenwriters must go through the pitch meeting before getting their screenplays green-lighted. In my screenwriting class at Second City, we learned not only about story structure and technique for TV shows and films, but we had to pitch our ideas as well. It's an excellent experience -- a great way to focus your thoughts and even re-evaluate your content in the process. In business, we don't always have the luxury of sitting down face-to-face with the people who review our copy, but when we do, it pays to be prepared with a quick pitch summarizing the content and putting it in context. I provide a simple formula for doing it.
I also edited another four chapters this week, which means nine down and well within sight of my goal of having half the chapters edited before I leave next week. Last night as I was looking at some of the early chapters I was really second-guessing myself. I have to re-re-look at them with a fresh eye. Some are definitely less substantive than others. We'll have to see whether they provide a nice variety or stick out like sore thumbs and need to be changed or cut.

Oh yeah, and one last chapter to write. I think. For some reason I feel like an even 25 is a good way to go. Though I reserve the right to change my mind and consider 20 the ideal. Or even 23.

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