Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adding a new lead character to an existing script - madness?

I'm currently doing a rewrite of a childrens' movie after reading a load of feedback on the existing draft (both professional notes and the thoughts of my writing group). This is one of those early scripts that never had an outline done for it - and I'm paying the price for this now. Always outline!

The current draft has an Act 2 that sags lower than Jabba the Hut's undercarriage and more prose description than the average novel. Its greatest strength - a novelist villain and his horrible creations, don't show up until about fifty pages in. But these are not its biggest problems.

I was driving home from work the other day when it hit me what was really wrong with it. This was a kids movie with very few kids in it. What children there are play only minor roles in the story and don't get to do much about from scared by the villain. I can't actually think of any kids movies where little 'uns were that absent, apart from maybe Gremlins (but even it has Corey Feldman and is arguably not aimed entirely at kids).

So I'm giving one of the main characters an 11-year-old half brother. Whether this will fix things, I don't know, but it will certainly force me to start thinking like a kid! It will give kids watching someone to relate to. And it will force me to do a drastic rewrite of the script, which it badly needs.

Has anyone else tried inserting a (main-ish) character after the script is written? Am I insane to do this? Thoughts on a postcard...

In other news, I've booked my flights to Boulder and will be mainly eating beans on toast between now and Christmas. But it'll be worth it to get some rays (I hope). Boulder is apparently over 20 degrees at the moment....

1 comment:

Me said...

I've written an entire draft of a TV pilot before realising that one of my supporting characters was actually my lead character. That lead to a massive major re-write, although thankfully the major beats of the story were the same, so I didn't have to rebuild the spine in outlining.

Sometimes it's just part of the process.