It’s been tough finding the time to complete these rewrites as I finished my last week of work. The good news is I will have lots of available time between now and the Nashville Writers Conference to wrap up Come Ups and tackle The Calling. The bad side is there is no income for at least the next couple of weeks.
But back to the good news. I feel much better about the changes to Come Ups. The pacing has really picked up considerably and the story has refocused on the characters in a way that didn’t exist before. Reydel is now clearly the driving force behind the story and makes him the strong protagonist. A few alterations to Shep have made him the protagonist of the dual storyline, finally stepping out of Grady’s shadow. There is a clear distinction between these two characters, and Shep has an obvious line of character growth.
The ripple effect of losing the bedroom confrontation scene and resetting the bonfire scene as the pivotal moment has necessitated moving some other scene forward, which keeps the action driving, but leaves some holes between scenes later in the script, which will need addressing. There has also been a change in Tyler’s death. Instead of Shep killing him, Tyler now meets his end in the jaws of an alligator. It was pointed out to me that I had sort of set that up with some foreshadowing in the first act, and there was some disappointment by several readers that Tyler didn’t get a nastier send off. The new death also removes some of the negative vibe generated by Shep killing his brother. Likability of the hero characters is always a good thing.
Screenplay Readers recommended the script be tightened down to somewhere between 100 and 105 pages, down from 114. Removing scenes and characters has dropped the page count just below 100, but adding new material has brought it back up to around 106 or 107. Once I complete these rewrites, I will focus on stripping out any unnecessary action prose and see if I can get the script below 105.
The conference is less than 2 weeks away, so I’ve got some work to do.