Work in Progress

I’m expecting you’ve come here because you have an interest in my writing and / or film-making projects, or in the subjects I speak on – consulting skills, data modeling, facilitation etc. My challenge is to this blog interesting and relevant to all of you – which is possible if you believe that everything informs everything else. I use principles that I learned in data modeling in screenwriting…
This new website is a work in progress and always will be (details on current film projects and our house in France coming soon though). So “Work in Progress” seems like a good opening topic…
Bryan Lawson in “How Designers Think” notes that “Design is Never Finished.” A near-equivalent in writing is the adage “Good writing is re-writing” or “You can always make it better.” An example:
The big news in my writing life at the moment is that I’ve signed a contract with Text Publishing for my book The Rosie Project, to be published March 2013. I take some pleasure in telling people that I wrote the book in 50 days, which is true to a point. Creative people love telling others how ideas came to them fully formed. Mozart is regularly held up as a greater genius than Beethoven because the latter’s notebooks showed the struggle of re-writing. Recent research seems to have shown that Mozart was just better at hiding the audit trail.
So, case study – The Rosie Project.
2007 – I worked out the story for “The Klara Project” walking with my partner in NZ
2008 – It was nominated for an AWGIE award for an unpublished screenplay. Good? No? I worked all year at RMIT with Producer / Teacher David Rapsey and Writing Partner Steve Mitchell (of recent Tropfest fame) re-working it. Good? No? David was sufficiently unimpressed that I didn’t submit it and repeated the year-long subject.
2008 Re-enrolled in Feature Film course, this time with Ian Pringle (of Romper Stomper fame) and writing partner Jill Moylan (AWGIE winner). 6 months re-writing. Good? No? Threw it away, re-wrote as The Rosie Project. New storyline, just kept two characters and changed the protagonist a lot. Won the AWG / Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script. Good? No. The prize was workshopping with Hollywood script doctors Steve Kaplan and Michael Hauge. Big changes. Substantial changes. Showed it to potential producer – didn’t like the third act. Re-wrote. Good? Getting there.
Wrote the book version. Made lots of improvements. Won Premier’s Literary Award. Got a publishing contract. Good? Well, yes, but now I have an editor, and she’s made a heap of great suggestions. About a 20% rewrite so far. More to come. Good? Well, design is never finished. In March, it’ll be published and some critic will say “The sister isn’t well developed” and I’ll think “She’s right you know…it could’ve been better.”

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