Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Some Other Beginning's End

Some Other Beginning's End

I sort of feel as if I've been living in a hole for the past week or so. A hole with a comfy chair, a laptop named George and a baffling supply of salt and vinegar crisps admittedly, but a hole nonetheless. Because it remains that if I haven't been at the WYP I've been losing blood, sweat and tears over the second draft of Four Chords. There has been more than one occassion where I would gladly have abandoned the entire thing and started training as a Quantity Surveyor. But there have been many, many more moments when one of the characters has made me excited because they're doing something that I hadn't envisaged, or I've seen something new in the play, or I've written something that I abso-fucking-lutely love. And as of Monday afternoon Four Chords's second draft is officially finished. In an hour or so it will go out into the world on its own for the first time. Which is both incredibly scary and totally exhilarating.

For all the mental block that I had at the start of the re-draft in some ways its seems like a different play now. All of the characters have new shades, one has had an almost total makeover (and a totally new monologue!) - there are new ideas, a new shape to it. It is existing on its own now, away from the facts of my own story. It doesn't belong to me as much, it belongs to Ben, Jude, Ella, Paul, Jess and Hannah. It's by no means perfect - it's pushing 140 pages for starters and there are undoubtedly spots of over-writing - but it's alive. I'm at least as happy with it as I am with SSoB's script as it stands. Which is comforting because there were moments when I didn't think I'd get there. And as I read the final scene aloud yesterday I found myself a little choked. Because I believed in Ben and Jude's story and because the ending I'd always thought that I was writing isn't the one that they've chosen. They've opted for something different.

I could continue faffing, start the next draft, but a deadline is a deadline. And I instinctively know - as I did with SSoB - that I can let go of it a little. Given that I've got some of the building blocks of a new play and I'll hopefully have some building blocks for whatever I end up writing for the WYP's SYWTBAW? I think I need to give the new ideas space. But I'll be back. Because I love Four Chords too much for me not to.

1 comment:

Val said...

Congratulations! I'm proud of you - looking forward to reading draft 2