Block Revision progress update!

July 20, 2012

Well, I’ve got fourteen scenes done now, out of fifty-seven, and I’m excited about making more progress over the weekend. A lot of scenes were nearly-complete rewrites on the Alphasmart, which does take longer, and I was starting to get depressed about it. And then I hit three scenes this evening that I could mark up off the first draft, (along with a few inserts on one of them,) and that made me feel better that I can make it through this before the end of the year.

And it still feels good to know that I’ve got this process for tackling the revision, and so many months of prep work that I’ve done to picture the book that I want to have when I’m finished. Exciting stuff, even when I feel a bit bogged down. ūüôā

Block Revision is finally underway!

July 14, 2012

It’s been an interesting warm-up week leading to my first revision cuts on “Won’t somebody think of the children” this afternoon. As well as the preparation¬†I told you about before, I spent several hours yesterday evening cutting up the printout of my Focus Outline and taping each scene sentence to a 3*5″ index card… which was kinda fun, especially since I could catch up on some Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice while I worked. And just this morning, it occurred to me that I couldn’t use the spiral-bound copy of my manuscript that I got at Staples last December for Holly’s cut-and-paste technique – because it was double-sided, and so there was no way I could cut two passages that happened to be on opposite sides of the same page into different scenes. So I printed out a new copy of my draft document on the laser printer. (Now I’m wondering if I was possibly a bit hasty, but what’s done is done.)

I’ve done revision on two scenes and part of a third so far – out of 57 in my outline. This is probably not a process that I’m going to finish in a week. I might be lucky if I finish lesson 17, which is the first pass of Block Revision, by the end of July, but I’ll see how it goes. I did scene 1 entirely with pen markup on the original draft pages, and scene 2 was entirely typed into the Alphasmart, because I didn’t see any passages from the original version of the scene that seemed good enough to include with changes. It looks like scene 3 might go the Dana-only route as well; it’s certainly starting off that way.

But I’m having fun, and I think this approach is working fairly well.

That’s a photo of my table laid out for revision – you can see a binder open to one of my worksheet printouts, the pens, post-its, scissors, tape, my pile of to-revise pages, the Focus Outline colored cards, my laundry list of continuity notes, and the Alphasmart sitting on top of the pile of blank typing paper to cut and paste onto. The pile of edited pages is mostly cut off the right edge of the picture. The empty space in the bottom center is where the scene that I’m editing at the time would go. Snacks would be off to the left, beyond the binder.

I never really thought of my living room table as small until I started to lay Holly’s Block Revision process out onto it.

Pages to be critiqued

May 9, 2011

Well, I picked up the screenplay at Staples this afternoon, and it looks really good!

I also managed to dash off a new intro to “The Long way home” using the Alphasmart, and I actually think it’s good enough that I want to read it out for fellow writers this week and see what they think of it. This is Princess Naveli getting Ereyu the ferret as a birthday present and pet, instead of running into her by accident on the palace grounds, which I think will be overall a good change for her character.

I need to remember to make time for my 500-word backstory pieces for the Storywonk workshop this week. I want to do them for four characters in “The long way home” – Princess Naveli, Tumaxool the bodyguard, Ereyu, and Merlik the mysterious magician.

Reading aloud and adding extra pages.

May 8, 2011

Well, it’s late, and I’ve spent a lot of the evening reading my Script Frenzy screenplay aloud to myself, which is a really good way of doing editing I usually find – a lot of simple changes and alternate phrasings just seem to come to me when I’m reading my own words out. But it does take some time.

I wanted to get the script in good shape to print a full copy out and show it off at the writers’ circles this week, maybe even give it to somebody else to review for a few weeks before giving it back to me. There was a gentleman at the New Writing Workshop last time who seemed very interested and knowledgeable about screenwriting.

So I’ve finished editing the entire project, (very casually, but that’s okay for a first printing I think,) and sent it off to Staples. This is the first time I’ve used a print shop since getting my Brother laser printer on boxing day, because I really wanted to get the full professional treatment on this – double-sided pages, spiral binding, stiff cardboard covers, and the whole thing. So I guess I’ll be heading over to the Staples on Barton street after work tomorrow to pick it up.

Interestingly enough, Staples printing price structure gives you a noticeable price break at 100 pages – you’d pay nearly two dollars more to print only ninety-nine. And after making a few of my changes and deleting some extraneous dialog, I was down to ninety-nine pages. Looked around in the Celtx options for anything that would take up another page, and found the choice to add a few extra lines before each scene header. Good enough, back to one hundred pages.

Except I realized that the price was going up quite a lot when I picked the option to actually have the title page printed out on the cover, and then realized that was because it didn’t count the title page as one of the hundred anymore. I was down to ninety-nine, and Celtx doesn’t let you just type in blank lines at the end of the project and print them off.

I actually tried typing in a lot of lines with just a . after each, but that didn’t look too good, and I thought of something else.

Hard page breaks!

I inserted hard page breaks around my act breaks, and that got me back up. 101 pages out of Celtx, which goes down to 100 after the title page is diverted to the cover. Excellent stuff.

I’m off to sleep now.

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