Friday, September 23, 2005

It's In the Cards

Finally, after a few weeks of poking and prodding, slapping it around, I’ve finally come up with my first basically workable outline. At least it seems like it’s workable. (Not too sure about the cheesy-ish third act, though) I was kinda torn between whether I should even attempt an outline or throw caution and common sense to the wind and just jot things down on some index cards and play around with the structure that way. I mean, we’re supposed to use index cards, right? It’s almost expected of us.

Syd Field preaching about it in his books. Nick Cage sitting on the floor pouring over a sea of white rectangles in Adaptation. Index cards are simply a tradition among screenwriters. Shuffling story elements around in an unfathomable number of combinations, until just the right order reveals itself like the pattern to an impossible code rising out of the chaos. For some reason, I just feel like I’ll be a real screenwriter if I break out the cards and move them around like a blackjack dealer.

But, I’m glad I decided to go the outline route first. I’ll still put all the elements on index cards and try different structures. With an outline, at least, I’m getting all the ideas down in one place. Whether their current order is optimal remains to be seen.