Rewriting… What happened before? What happens after?

Oh my, this rewriting is a dangerous, dangerous thing.
Not like defusing an unexploded bomb or anything, but still…

When you have a complete story / screenplay / outline, etc., and you’re rewriting it, injecting new scenes here or there requires a LOT of thought.

I’ve got a script. It’s written all the way down to FADE OUT. And I’m still working on it. Because it’s not right yet. When it’s right, I’ll stop. Please God, let that blessed moment happen…

Anyway, I am adding a series of five new scenes that will change one crucial aspect of the script. I’ve worked out what happens in each scene. I did that first with a pencil and paper. Scene 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Made those five scenes flow correctly, so that the “story” in the new scenes works. That took a while. Then I had to figure out where each scene will go in the script. Where do they fit best? Did that with a one line outline and a pencil.

So, now I’ve got a new one line outline, with the new scenes stuck in.

And I have to go back to the reality of the story and figure out if the scenes actually work.

One thing to consider is “What happened before the scene? What happens after it?” A new scene has to be aware of how it fits in the whole story. And it is VERY easy to not realize what came before that affects the scene and what that scene affects that comes after.

What you don’t want is a logic problem. You don’t want the new scene to say, “Let’s go over to Bob’s house for dinner.” and after you send the script to an agent, for the agent to say, “Hey, moron, Bob was blown up in a mineshaft accident twenty pages ago!”

Be very aware of what happened earlier that will affect the new scene.
Be very aware of the trickle down effect your fabulous new scene will have on what comes after it.

This whole screenwriting thing is a giant puzzle, and it has lots and lots of moving parts to solve.

Good luck!


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Filed under Rewriting, Scenes, Screenwriting, Uncategorized

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