Letters From America: A good day, on the whole.

originally posted 8th March 2004

Draft Zero of the Enterprise spec is finished.

It’s not a First Draft. It’s not at that level yet. What it has, is enough words to fill fifty pages in screenplay format.

Now that the final “Fade out.” has been typed, I’ve printed it out and read it end-to-end for the first time.

The first act is pretty good, in my humble opinion. Unfortunately the other three-quarters of the script sucks big-style. Genuine queue-up-to-avoid-it type writing.

I read the whole thing for the first time a couple of hours ago. When writing the Zeroth Draft I try to not go back at all if I can avoid it – the temptation is too high to spend your life re-working the bits you know are wrong instead of finishing the damn piece.

But now, reading it end-to-end for the first time, I had my Editor hat on. And the *structure* is mostly there. It’s just the words that need changing.

If I was a showrunner who received this script, I’d fire the original writer and pass it on to the person on my team that was good at dialogue to straighten the damn thing out.

Unfortunately, I’m on my own here.

But I can see where the problems are. Looking at it now as a final piece, I can see what the original author is trying to do in the script. Despite the fact that everyone wears their hearts on their shoulders and baldly states their point-of-view.

So what I’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks is taking the scenes apart and attempting to re-build them with real characters instead of the cardboard cutouts currently serving duty as place-holders.

Then maybe it’ll be worth showing to someone else.

But having said all that, finishing Draft Zero is worth celebrating. It’s a cut-off point, a waystation, a milestone.

So I treated myself. Since I moved into this apartment building, I’ve had my eye upon the big switch in the elevator marked “Emergency Stop”, and I’ve been saving it for just the proper occasion.

Worth the wait.

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