A quick update on the first draft, by James Collins

Posted on November 11 2010 by James

For everyone who’s been following the progress of Shocking the Donkeys, here’s a quick update on where we are with the script.

I (James) am almost finished my final check of the final version of the first draft. Jack have been through it to check for repetitions and to make some of the ‘black stuff’ that I wrote more succinct. (You can see from reading our blogs here that Jack is more succinct with words than I am.) All I have to do now is double check that I am as happy as I can be at the moment with the dialogue and descriptions and then… well, then we are hopefully on to the next stage.

So, did it take long to write this first draft? No, only seven months.

I checked back and the first time we actually started emailing and talking about this project was in April this year. After seven months of swapping ideas, building characters, structuring the plot and the relationships between characters and after doing all that background work, which was at times hard and dare I say it a little tedious… Well, after all that (and much of the donkey-work was done by Jack) it actually only took me one week to write up the first draft. Well, one week and a bit as I’d done a dummy Act one already – a 30 page script which took us up to a point where we thought everything was going to change for our main character. Then, having written half of Act 2, I re-wrote Act one as the original Act 1 then felt too long and ‘lop-sided.’ Things read much better after that bit of radical re-organising. So I steamed on and had the full 102 pages (as it stands at the moment) by the end of the week. Mind you I was working long hours as the inspiration flowed…

But the point is, without all the work during those seven months of planning and building, the draft would a) not have come together so quickly, b) not have come together so easily and c) not have been as well structured as it now is. With all the hard work done, I knew the characters and what had to happen when, and things just fell into place from there.

Anyway, that’s where I am at the moment. A couple more days and I’ll be able to say ‘the first draft of Shocking the Donkeys is ok for now, send it to the producers and let’s take it from there.’

Mind you, as a friend in the biz once said about musicals, ‘a musical is never written, it is re-written’ and the same applies to screenplays.

Ramble over – off to check through Act 2 now.

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