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Day 41: Rewrites on Act 2 Complete

It's Day 41 and I have completed this round of rewrites on the second half of the second act of my screenplay Come Ups. I had hoped to complete those rewrites on Day 40, but making it through the full 30 pages was a little more challenging than I had anticipated. It was actually about 35 pages as this portion of the script, like so many of the others, was running a little long. On the first day, I made it through about 20 pages, which included some substantial rewrites in the Bad Guys Close In portion right after the Midpoint.

These rewrites were necessitated by story changes in the first half of the script, but the remainder of the act remained fairly intact with most of the changes being script cuts. At one point the total page count for the script fell to 108 pages and then climbed again to 112. My concern here was that by removing pages from the second act to hit my plot point my third act would fall short and would require additional pages to be written to fill the void. Through some clever restructuring and additional scenes in the second act I was able to hit the 30 pages necessary for this section and maintain an appropriate page count for the third act. My current page count now stands again at 110, right where it should be.

The second act is now lands about one page over the Save the Cat (STC) prescribed page, but it has the right page count. This is because the second act starts one page late with the B Story commencing on page 31 instead of page 30. All of the subsequent beats also begin one page late with the Break Into Act 3 occurring on page 86 rather than page 35. If I can find that one page to eliminate in the first act, all of the plot points will realign to their STC prescribed pages. Eliminating a page, of course, will also reduce the third act, and the script will end on 109 instead of 110. All in all, that’s not bad. If I can’t find that one page, I think I’m close enough (and consistent enough) that it won’t matter.

In addition to the rewrites in the first scene after the Midpoint, I added a comical scene where Tyler steals a gun in an effort to aid Shep and Grady who have been taken hostage by Reydel. The scene is true to Tyler’s character and provides a tension break that allows the audience to reset for the building action that follows. This small moment adds a lot to the pace of the story and will help to ensure I don’t exhaust the audience before reaching the climax of the script.

Next I have to tackle the third act, which I anticipate will have some major rewrites as I try to take care of that contrived ending and bring Reggie back into the mix. I doubt the changes to the third act will go as quickly or as smoothly as this round did, after all this is the big payoff for the movie. Still, if I can complete the rewrites by the 15th I may be able to submit the script to the Blue Cat Screenplay competition. It gives me deadline to work for, but I won’t rush it. Sending out a script before it’s ready does me no good.

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