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My last entry about the "Trendsetter" screenplay was exactly one month ago today. And though I can account for all of those days lost, and have good reason they went towards minimal work on the project, my guilt is high.

Not that no work has gone on, however. My stack of notes has doubled in past month, and my outline has filled out a bit. I am usually apprehensive about posting notes and outlines on this blog, but looking at my notes, I realize this will make no sense to anyone other than me, and I think it would benefit me to have a copy online, in case of catastrophe [could it be any more obvious I misplaced my notes and only found them after digging through papers all night?].

"Trendsetter" Outline

Intro. - Brandon, Eddie, Tess, Br. Mom, Pixie Girl.
Brandon's Apartment - Brandon
Outside w/Mailman - Brandon, Mailman
Inside w/Faye - Brandon, Faye
Outside waiting - Brandon, Teenage Girls, Eddie
Eddie's Car - Brandon, Eddie
Outside All-Mart - Brandon, Eddie
Inside All-Mart - Brandon, Molly, Eddie [Call from Tess, NEW Molly scene]
Hosp. Front Desk - Brandon, Nurse/Attend.
Hosp. Waiting Room w/Tess - Brandon, Tess [SPLIT]
Brandon's Apartment - Brandon, Faye, NPR. [Save Faye?]
Brandon's Apartment w/call - [NEW]
Brandon v. Tobias - Brandon, Tobias [NEW character], Faye [Loc. Unknown]
Brandon's Apartment - Brandon, Faye. [NEW]
????? - [NEW, pssb.: Brandon/Faye, Brandon/Eddie/Molly, MONTAGE? FN]
Hosp. Again - Brandon, Tess [NEW, SPLIT]
Inside All-Mart - Brandon, Eddie, Molly [Molly Ltd.]
Hallway - Brandon [Neeter cameo]
Faye's - Brandon, Faye. [SUB.]
Outside Brandon's - Tess.
Brandon's - Brandon, Tess. [FINAL]
Outside Brandon's, POST. - Mailman, Pixie Girl.

Looking at that, I can take some inventory, and see what work is ahead of me. I have at least 6 new scenes to write [possibly more], as well as restructuring on two Tess scenes [who's leftovers should form a pretty stable base for her new scenes as well], and the introduction of one new character who will have to be foreshadowed in there... somewhere before he appears, and possibly have him show up in some capacity in the middle. I also have a few tweaks I'd like to make to my protagonist and his attitude, which may or may not take heavy re-writes to the script as a whole -- it will probably have to be done last, and I predict at least one more aesthetic go-over after that, to tighten dialogue, catch continuity errors, and hopefully sweat down the overly long beginning which may not seem apparent in this outline, but will likely be there in the next draft.

Rule of thumb says the protagonist should have his goal in the first twenty minutes -- there is no way in hell that's going to happen here, but getting it as close as possible, and pulling off a "Clerks" sort of thing might work, and it'll be interesting to see when I get that far.

I expect to start work again on this Sunday or Monday Night -- my weekend is already filling up, and I know today is going to be a wash because of something personal I have to do. There are more than a few bumps in the road along the way[especially ?????, which I honestly have no idea what is going to be there, but I know, from my outline, that things are going to need to happen in that small block], but all of this seems doable [and relatively untaxing], and even though a month has passed without nearly enough work going to this, looking at the materials I have at hand makes me think Trendsetter should be feature length by May.

To end things on a lighter note, I dug up something a week or two ago while transferring files to the new laptop. As most writers do, I have a tendency to put myself into my work, not to the degree that I could necessarily be accused of "Mary Sue-ism," but enough that a lot of my fellow writers occasionally turn up their noses or make fun of me when mentioning certain characters or scenes I've written. Generally, I don't think it matters much whether you have a a penchant for writing yourself into something or if you work from characters and settings far removed from your "base," [and anyone who claims doing more of one than the other denotes some kind of skill probably hasn't done enough of either, in my experience] but I do try and go easy on characters that too resemble myself these days.

Hilariously, this has happened again, though this time not intentionally. Some may remember my post about Neeter, a small character who's been in several things I've written, but never made it to final draft in anything, until hopefully now. One of the projects that Neeter almost appeared in was the SULK comics Sam and I worked on during college, and a single sketch page was produced of the character.

I'd all but forgotten about this sketch, with my instructions to Sam to lampoon Scott McCloud a little bit by making my shy perv look like his famous "Making Comics" avatar. Of course, after leaving college, yours truly cut his hair, changed his glasses, and took on a messy, despondent sort of look. With all that coupled with my trademark flannel, I've inadvertently given myself another fictional twin.

Not that it matters, especially since "Trendsetter" is live action, and everything Kyle's told me thus far says Neeter is likely going to end up a bald, skinny guy when the part is cast. But the coincidence made me laugh, and you almost have to wonder...

Art imitates life, or life imitates art?

You tell me.

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