Writing With This View

It’s taking me a while to post the various trip photos, so I’m running a few days behind. But I’ll just note that I am astonishingly lucky enough to now be at a writing event in Hawaii (in Kauai) for another week.

After a weekend of fairly focused work, I’ve finished a full draft of a screenplay (73 pages, which I think is roughly 73 minutes). We’ll workshop it tomorrow, so the rest of today, I’ll be working on something else. More on that anon.

Yes, this is the view where I’m writing.

Honestly, sometimes I can’t quite believe this is my life.


In case folks are curious, here’s the notes I just sent to my writing group about the manuscript, a little behind-the-scenes peek. Mild spoilers.

I’m going to prioritize revising this and the other project from the summer in the next few weeks.

• my main priority this week, is structural — I’d like to know if there are scenes you think are missing, or that don’t work and should be cut.

• I also added an element starting with the funeral, where sometimes she’s talking to her dead father and he’s talking to her, which helped me convey information, but I’m not sure if it’s cheesy or doesn’t work?

• I wasn’t sure how explicit to be with the sex scene at the end — I mostly left it as originally written, but wasn’t sure if it should be

much more minimal and just let the director / actors fill in?

• the one thing I know I want to revise is that I want that foreboding Gothic feeling earlier on, and I think one important way to make that happen is to introduce the father-in-law, who is the primary antagonist, and make him…not actually scary or anything, but just kind of stern and intimidating. So if you could look for an opportunity to introduce him earlier on here? I don’t see him coming to the taluka, I think, but maybe I could add a bit when she goes to sign the contracts, and he’s there?

• that could also give us a glimpse of the House — in a gothic, the grim, forebodding house where secrets lurk is a big trope, and while we do see the House here, it might be good to see it even earlier.

Ideally, I’d like the viewer sort of balanced on a knife’s edge between hope for a happy romantic ending for her, and fear of what might happen to her.

(They’re right to be scared.)


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