Progress on the first draft of the low-budget comedy spec has been slow but steady; averaging about 2-3 pages a day. It’s a smart move to accept the fact that the first draft of anything you write is going to suck, because it always does. And this one’s no different. Several cogs within this machine in drastic need of retooling have been identified.
So there I am, working on a scene, having the ongoing internal discussion of “Is this the funniest way to do this bit?” The scene as originally conceived is pretty straightforward, but the comedy part still needs something. A line of dialogue just won’t cut it. While I’m quite adept at witty conversation in person, putting it on the page is an entirely different animal.
Overall, it felt like things were slowing down and becoming tougher to work through.
No matter how hard you look, sometimes you can’t find the answer you seek because you don’t realize it’s just staring you in the face.
There was a scene much earlier in the script where, for no reason in particular, I used a joke of a particular nature just for the hell of it. Some might consider it a dumb joke, but I’m still in first draft mode, so it might not stick around for very long.
But there was something about it that really stuck with me. I thought it was pretty funny, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like exactly something I would come up with.
And there it was. The floodgates had opened, and my much-needed solution came gushing forth. These jokes would work perfectly throughout the whole thing.
Added bonus – it’s the kind of comedy I’ve known and loved my entire life. I’d been trying to write this in a way or style that’s not exactly me, whereas this rediscovered approach is practically spot-on. Coming up with these kinds of jokes is almost second nature. Hopefully I can successfully transition them onto the page.
But now I was presented with a new problem: stop here (around pg 48) and start over, or hammer my way forward?
Tempting as it was to start over, I’m opting to keep going forward (and start implementing the new jokes), mostly so I can just get this draft finished. The sooner I get to the end, the sooner I can start on the rewrite.
As I said, progress continues to be slow and steady, but it’s still progress.
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