After having read Rachel’s and Lawrence’s current project list, I’m starting to seriously ponder two things:
a) In order to find the time, they have obviously made some sort of pact with the Great Satan himself (Noel Edmonds, in case you were wondering)
b) I am a lazy, unmotivated arse.
How do they do it? Jiggered if I know. Suffice to say, I’ve spent the last three months or so writing and rewriting my Red Planet entry. Even if it doesn’t get through the first cut, it’s something I want to keep working on (I’m even considering writing a second episode, fer chrissakes).
The timescale for this year’s Red Planet suited me quite well, as it happened – I rewrote the first ten pages about half a dozen times before I had something I was happy with, which I did in parallel with a rough first draft. By the time the deadline loomed, it was ready for a good kicking courtesy of Adrian Reynolds. To be fair, Adrian offered up more in the way of what he terms ‘coaching’ than a strict reader’s report which again, suited me just fine. A couple of Adrian’s suggestions really resonated, and I’ve used his sage words as fuel to inform a second draft, essentially a page one rewrite. Let’s face it, first drafts are crap: mine are always overwritten, chock full of exposition, static conversations and weird, jerky pacing. In any rewrite, I can usually zero in on these types of occurrences and start to pull apart and put back together scenes with a more focused eye. Now, at the end of the second draft (it’s taken about a month), I’ll go out again for another read with a different reader. Then another rewrite probably. And then it just might be bordering on the ‘OK’. You get the idea. Just as well I prefer rewriting to the grunt work of getting a first draft down on the page.
There we have it: four months work essentially. I’ve been tinkering with that treatment a little bit as well, but I’m not doing anything further on it until I get something in writing (an MOU would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath). But that’s another story...
So tell me guys (I’m looking at you, Rachel and Lawrence): how do you do it? Do you share some sort of fancy machine that somehow elongates time? If so, do you want to swap it for mine that seems to do exactly the opposite (on a trial basis, of course. I’ll let you have yours back if you ask nicely). ;-)