Posted by: steveonfilm | September 22, 2008

The Next Project

I decided for my next project I’m going to go back and write another draft of Marianas.

Marianas is a story that came to me three years ago or so. I’d read about some of the stuff happening on the island of Siapan in the Nothern Mariana Islands.

Saipan is where a lot of clothes that you’ve likely worn at some point in your life were made. Since it’s a commonwealth of the US, it had a Made In The USA label on it. That’s since been changed.

While there are many perfectly legit businesses there, there is also a seedy underworld. Smuggling. Forced labor. Slave labor. A lot of really bad things.

A few Goggle searches is all it takes for anyone to get a taste of what has, and is, going on over there.

While researching I found myself with not one, but three separate stories. A brother trying to find his sister. A congressman faced with a difficult choice. And a human rights advocate willing to do anything to bring attention to the situation on the island.

All of them interesting. But none of them big enough to stretch into a whole screenplay. So I decided to combine them all together, and ended up with the story of Marianas.

I was flipping through my first draft last night. I found myself laughing quite a bit. While I’m not expert by any means, I can easily see how far my writing has come. It was a good feeling, but somewhat embarassing too. I’d sent this to a few people to read and get feedback on. I can only imagine what they thought.

But that’s part of the process. Sometimes you’ve got to look back in order to look forward.

I starting tinkering with it last night. My first draft is 135 pages long. I’ve already got it down to 129, and thats after only a half hour or so. I’m not saying it’s got wasted stuff in it. It’s just that I can now write in half a page what sometimes would take me two pages to write before. And honestly, the beginning was way to slow. It was easy to trim it down and still keep what happens the exact same. I wrote this long before the “in late, out early” technique had been explained to me.

I’m not sure how long I’ll tinker with this. I don’t know if I’ll take it to the end or just work on it until I feel the need to go back and polish up Bystander. But I’m going to try posting comparisons of the actual revisions I’ll be making. For example, if I take something that’s three pages, and am able to condense it into one, I’ll post that. If I can find a blatant example of where I can come into a scene much later, and I fix it, I’ll post that. Anything that I find that might be useful to an aspiring, or novice writer like myself, I’ll try to post up.

Hopefully some of this helps.

Until next time.



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