Actually I fell asleep early last night, then got up in the small hours and zoomed to page 75. This morning I have edged it to 80 pages. I managed to:
- create a bit of jeopardy for my hero(s)
- get the clock ticking (increased urgency for them to act)
- amp up the baddies, so that they are capable of murder, and guilty of more sleazy backstories, etc.
- reveal a hidden ally
Although Script Frenzy targets 100 pages, Blake Snyder suggests 110 pages as some sort of average or standard. This does mean I haven't necessarily got all the beats in the right place just yet, but I have used his beat sheet as a skeleton at least, and it has helped.
In fact, Script Frenzy offer their own version, trimmed to 100 pages (the Hollywood Beat Sheet) but I can't finesse right now.
I have predominantly written in dialogue to start with, as I felt the danger of writing too much action might turn it into 'fiction writing' again. Likewise I have hardly ever suggested shots.
Designers only need a hint, actors don't like being told how to play things, and directors don't really need my suggestions for shots. At least, that's how I decided to approach it for now.
Once I hit the target, anyway, I will have to proofread, and may add some action or description to clarify what I meant, just as some dialogue may work better 'acted out'.
As I seem to be on target for finishing the first draft really quickly, I can use the rest of the Script Frenzy month trying to hone it up a little. I will put the script into cards on the board (currently it is covered in almost random posts) and shuffle them around a little.
I may re-read Save The Cat, to check I have covered most of the issues (and he has a specific chapter for tightening up slack scripts, a check-list for improvements to make in the edit).
I am also reading a little wider in the screenplay writer blogs that I have come across (see blog list to the right of the screen), which make more sense now that I have actually started.