Well, I'm a happy camper this week. Not only is the final draft of Love in the Time of Monsters done, but it's better than ever! I always enjoy reading my revised scenes after polishing them, but this draft is something else entirely - this is SIX YEARS of work in one damn fine script. All the plotholes, action choreography, character development (or lack thereof), story pacing, money concerns, all that has finally fallen into place and LitToM exists as a solidly entertaining and probably profitable piece of work.
This is all due most entirely to Matt's latest notes - not only did they address the feasible money concerns but also all the little random things that have been bogging down the script for weird reasons. In truth, some of his revisions I didn't even want to do but in the end they came out better than ever and I'm glad they were changed. Some of his notes I didn't even touch but have a feeling that I'll go back to them in the future ... maybe.
Most of these revisions were inevitable partly because of the way I put this story together, which is similar to the way I go about editing my reality TV shows - throw everything you got in there and have someone else come in to whittle it down. I liked the many subplots we had going on but in the end a majority of them had to go for the greater good. Simpler is better.
Like I've said before, it's such a humbling experience when you find yourself unable to improve on your own piece of work - you're the one who knows the story inside and out, so you should be most capable of finding where to make revisions, right? Nope, it's those invaluable third parties that can see the cracks in the story that you can't. It's like your uncanny ability to predict a third-act reversal only 10 minutes into a film you're watching - you're easily more critical of others' works than your own.
Speaking of which, one thing that's always bugged me about the notes process (and I've admittedly been a reluctant participant in this) is when you get a note back like, "hey good script! I like it a lot! A little tightening and it's perfect!" That tells me nothing, and in turn makes nothing better. A lot of people either settle for what's in front of them or are just too goddamn nice to speak their mind about the flaws in someone else's work.
After our first table reading in December I was chomping at the bit for some good feedback from our readers. It took about a half hour of cajoling the talent to finally get some "well, I wasn't sure about when ..." musings, and from there the floodgates opened and the whole room was speaking their mind. Before too long I was scribbling notes down from every direction in the room about any random part of the story and wrapping my mind around not only which of their concerns were valid enough to address but also how to fix the ones that were.
That was helpful. That was notes.