Monday, 29 March 2010


Finally it has happened: the very condition I never thought would afflict me has landed itself plop! right there on the mat – not literally, of course, so there's no actual mess to clear up; just a virtual expanse of nothingness that is even more frightening.

This concerns the 60-minute screenplay that I'm re-hashing into its Second Draft. The First Draft did work as a story (and I've seen much worse on TV) but, on reflection, it might have appeared too lightweight. My problem is how to convincingly get the protagonist to relent without making it seem too convenient when the story is about to end.

Since allowing myself to get bogged down with this, surprisingly I've been sleeping rather soundly, but waking up feeling like I've been doing The Times crossword all night. But if the solution has occurred to me during my period of somnolence, then why the hell can't I remember what it was?

I find myself speaking lines of dialogue in inappropriate places. I get strange looks. I'm only trying them out, but the more experimentally-bizarre the plot gets, the more space I am allowed by members of the public. My current wife says she's had enough – oh, not of me, well, sort of, I suppose, but of the characters encroaching on our lives.

"They're only pretend people," she snipes. Little does she realise that they are so real they're taking over, creeping up on me and whispering obtuse lines of dialogue for me to try out – until the day I can type "FADE OUT" and put them to rest.

Until the Third Draft, that is.

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