Carbon Harbor 2.0

Originally Posted

Gloriosky! It worked! What am I talking about? This:

I don't know if I ever got to directly saying it. Perhaps I got close in my first post on this blog , but then I got caught up in various odds and ends activities that were all more or less devoted to the behind-the-scenes, multimedia aspects of this blog, rather than the blogging itself. Anyway -- see, I'm again not saying it -- the purpose of this blog, at least initially, is to get me back to thinking about a screenplay of mine that I want to rewrite.

Yes. There is already a completed draft of Carbon Harbor. But I don't like it. Very frustrating. So I've known for almost two years now that I want to rewrite it. I don't mean tweak it, but rip it apart and rewrite. I've never -- not for one minute -- lost my faith that Carbon Harbor is a story worth telling. The question has always been, how to tell it. Without making a single change to the logline, it can be told countless number of ways. But I had written it one way and I needed it to go cold again so I could take another approach.

That's the first time I had experienced that. It's a much different problem than the "blank page" syndrome at the beginning of a new writing project. It's different because, after working on it for several months, in the research process and writing pages of notes, I actually banged out the script in about 8 days or so. I'd never written anything that quickly before. However, the downside was that the first draft became formidably locked into my head and it was somehow more intimidating to me than a blank page. I couldn't get it back out of my head enough to allow me to start over.

Alas! Just as the original idea had come to me while I fiddled around with my music making, working on this blog accomplished the same thing, though in a slightly different way. Still, it all came down to what I call Creative Diversion.

When I tried to think about my story and attack it head on, all I kept coming up with were minor revisions to what I had already written. If I just shelved it, well, that wasn't ever going to produce anything, either. To twist the old saying, out of mind is out of write. But by tricking myself into believing I had decided to forget about it for a while and do some blogging about it -- BINGO! -- the log jam broke, and a whole bunch of stuff that had been swimming around somewhere in my head finally found its way out and released me from the shackles of my first draft. I got back to that basic premise where I could, once again, really see what I stated above, that the story can be told in any number of way, without one change to the original logline.

In this case, an almost entirely new plot and tone is developing, though it uses nearly all of my original characters. They have new roles, angles and secretive personal baggage they must carry, but their personalities are roughly the same and they still very much fit into the new story, just differently. Finally I was able to make bold steps, like ripping out my entire Third Act. It was absolutely painless! I'm not even sure yet what I'm replacing it with, but I'm positive that I'm on a better track for this new, second draft.

I'm looking forward to it.

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Harmony Road (bonus track)
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