Monday, July 12, 2010

winning the war

Yesterday I actually edited an entire scene from 'Sand and Water'--this after pretty much false starts and farting around for three months. I don't know if it means that the lull is over or not, but I am going to keep running with it--you never know when it's going to just up and dry up.

And it was hard. HARD. I sat at Panera, laptop open in case I needed to look stuff up during the course of my work, with the notebook and a hard draft in front of me, and several pens in different colors and I did something I hadn't done since I took Directing I in college--I broke a scene down into beats. I identified what each character wanted and if I had trouble deciphering it, or if everything that was written could be subtext, I corrected it. And I think it made a huge difference. And I put the edits in right after I was done with the scene, rather than waiting until I got done with all the scenes. And that is my least favorite part of editing, so I'm glad I did it that way. I don't think this is going to get any easier for this play--'Sand and Water' is a heavy, dense sucker--but I think it's going to help. And it gives me something to add to my editing toolbelt.

I know this entry makes it sound like I don't like editing, but I have come to grow rather fond of it. It's great fun to lop off parts of the play that just aren't working and making it better, stronger. That's not sarcasm--I truly enjoy it. I don't like having to cut characters or lines, especially if they were well put together--sometimes I save them in a file for other things in case something comes up in a future play and it needs just that certain something. But otherwise, I like editing. The streamlining--it's very enjoyable. And it allows me to get in better touch with how I'm writing this play, because, as we all know, writing one play doesn't mean you will know how to write another--but it's helpful to have ideas of how to approach it.

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