Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Brutal Cuts

I had a remarkably busy and social weekend, with a movie outing with friends, dinner out with friends both Saturday and Sunday and a meeting on Sunday. During this, there was some plotting of a grand scheme that should be way too much fun if we can pull it off. All that socializing, planning, plotting and eating of large meals means that I'm getting a slow start today. I'd better get the iced tea brewed because I do need to get some work done.

Most of this work seems to involve getting rid of bits that I was proud of. They were very clever little bits of conversation that bogged down the pacing of the scenes, that weren't relevant at the moment and that were actually kind of out of character. I resisted cutting because they contained some great lines and told us fun things about the characters. But finally, I had to admit that these things don't belong in the book, and that information can be conveyed in a different way and in a different place. The big lesson I'm learning is that it's boring to have a conversation in which a person asks a direct question and the other person answers it directly and fully.

Now for some TV news: Doctor Who will be returning August 27. And from that point, I'll be spending my weekends with my head spinning. It'll start on Friday night with Haven, which seems to throw in some new twist or clue to the overall story in each episode, along with some new character revelation, and then they zig when you think they're going to zag. I get the feeling the writers are all well aware of all the TV tropes, so they can deliberately set up a trope-like situation and then subvert or undermine it by doing exactly the opposite of what you'd expect to happen on most shows. Each episode sends me into another spiral of speculation. So now, after a Friday night and Saturday spent mulling over that, there will be new Doctor Who to also give me something more to think about. My dreams on Saturday and Sunday nights will be very, very interesting if I manage to merge the two very different things. The Doctor would likely discover that there's some alien force behind what's going on in Haven but would be surprised by the sarcastic aplomb with which the local authorities accept an explanation that weird. "So, aliens, huh? Makes about as much sense as anything else. Now, what do we do to send ET home?"

So, now I'll spend the day writing conversations in which characters ask roundabout questions and the other characters respond by hedging, evading or answering indirectly.

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