Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bark: They don't call it a frenzy for nothing

It's been a most productive weekend. I'm eighty-one pages into my film script adaptation of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. That's way, WAY ahead of schedule. I reckon I should be done by this weekend.

In terms of actual text, 81 pages isn't actually a huge amount, only about 18,000 words, but that still surpasses what I managed for last year's NaNoWriMo by quite a significant margin.

It's been hugely fun to write, and I'm just about to embark on the finale, which has been taking form in my head over the last few days. It's going to have a similar form to that of the game, but will differ in quite a few ways in order to make it a little bit more dramatic. I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out so far, though I did decide in the end to drop HK-47 entirely. His taunts of pathetic meatbags will be missed, but hopefully not too much. Juhani also doesn't make the cut, either - but the galaxy's much better without a mopey cat-woman cluttering up the place.

With fewer characters to fit in, I've been able to flesh out a couple of the supporting players more. Carth is much more likeable - more of a cross between Atton Rand and Malcolm Reynolds, but still with a touch of Carth's whiny angst around the edges. Jolee's playing the Wise Old Man, or Obi-Wan role, but there are parts where he's a little bit too much of a Captain Obvious. I'll probably have to go back and rewrite some of that at some point. Canderous is also a bit on the Captain Obvious side, but I do have a nice twist for him in the climax.

Before I started I was a little concerned as to how I would get on writing the dialogue - given that with screenwriting you have to convey so much more with what is said, rather than what is described - but I have to say, I've not found it nearly as difficult as I thought I would. I've hardly reused anything from the original game. There are a few rare instances, but nearly all of the dialogue is formed from the spirit of what appears in the game, rather than the actual words themselves.

I will be sending out the script to a few select people for honest, no-bullshit assessments. I can't really be a judge of the standard of my own writing (I'm biased, I think everything I do is awesome), so it will be nice to have some feedback and maybe a little bit of ego-puncturing. Having said that, though - I don't think there's a huge amount of flab that could be cut. Certainly, it's been written in a hurry and that will show a lot, but I've tried to keep things tight and follow the screenwriter's mantra: come into a scene late and get out early.

It's been a terrifically enjoyable exercise, though. And I don't say that about writing stuff very often. I could get used to this...
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