Tonight saw the continuation of Come Ups being read at the Tuesdays@9 writers’ workshop. I submitted the middle half of Act 1, which was a challenge for a cold reading due to the significant amount of action contained within that section. I streamlined things a bit by reducing the bulk of the main action, the gun battle between the boys in the boat and Reydel’s crew, to about six lines. This kept the audience abreast of what was happening without becoming ‘storytime.’
The first half of the submitted pages played well, with a little more humor coming through than I anticipated. I’m okay with that since the story is about to descend into darkness. Any humor that is set up now will help humorous moments down the road feel like they are part of the story and not coming out of left field.
The audience response dropped off significantly following the action break, but I don’t think it was because they were no longer engaged. The stakes are raised significantly and the audience, I believe, was simply caught up in the seriousness of the moment. And there were no comic moments allowing them to respond aloud. That being said, the second half did seem a bit talky to me. For guys running blindly through the woods in fear for their lives, there seemed to be too much conversation. I will need to look at cutting that down a bit.
The problem with Shep is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. For the audience, there didn’t seem to be any problem, but they don’t know what is coming and they may find it a little confusing when he becomes more of the main character. With this current draft, the main characters appear to be Grady and Reydel. Before I address that issue, I want to complete the current draft and complete the structure overhaul of the script. The next draft I’ll call the Shep Pass and give more development to his character. When that is complete, I should be ready to start looking for some outside feedback on the script with some coverage.
With a little luck – and a lot of hard work – I should be ready to start some marketing on this script at the beginning of the year once everyone has returned from the holiday breaks. But there is a considerable amount of work to accomplish before then, including pitches, query letters and figuring out what companies or individuals to send the script to.