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Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

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Home » Archives » December 2006 » Happy Christmas Eve!
[Previous entry: "Overused Comedy Word: Festive. And Yet..."] [Next entry: "Christmas Fudge"]

12/24/2006: Happy Christmas Eve!

Here's something I've seen happen over and over again when I've been working on a writing staff. Sometimes a change has to be made that we're not excited about. Maybe we couldn't get a location that we wanted, or we have to make a night scene into a day scene to fit the shooting schedule. Or maybe it's an actual creative note that we don't all agree with, but that we've agreed to do. But whatever it is, imagine that it requires a bit of reworking. So we go back in and rewrite the scene.

Here's the weird thing. Often, although not always, the scene gets better almost in spite of itself. I mean you *know* it's not a brilliant note. Sometime you don't agree with the note at all, in principle. But, the mere process of rewriting sometimes -- often -- leads to improvements. I think this is simply because everyone knows the script so much better with every pass through it.

I suspect you might find this to be the case with spec writing, too, although it's certainly harder to set up the right circumstances -- you don't have to worry about locations, shooting schedules or network notes. But at least this should make you, I hope, feel a bit better about diving back into a scene for the dozenth time after you realize on your own that something needs fixing.

Remember, just because writing a scene took some labor, it doesn't mean that it will *sound* belabored.

Lunch: Fresh-baked mincemeat pie. Fantastic. Traditionally, mincemeat had actual meat or suet in it, but now there is no reason to be afraid. It's apples and raisins and such, highly spiced. You'd like it just fine.


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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December 2006

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