Q. Where have you been the past three weeks?
A. Shuttling between my new job in Redmond, dog sitting Watson the pee machine, and working on a page 1 re-write for Northbridge.

Q. Are you about to pass out from exhaustion?
A. Yes.

Q. How come colleges, universities, and high schools don't stress the importance of rewriting?
A. I don't know. Since I have been writing meaningful things I've learned that your first word will never last and the last word is never close to finished. Since writing Cole and now just finishing my first rewrite of Northbridge it is abundantly clear: from the very first draft of a script you complete to the last FADE OUT, you will not maintain but a couple of lines of dialogue or a few paragraphs of scene description when you finally reach the last draft before camera.

No one has ever taught me the art of re-writing--I have learned it on my own. The trick, I suppose, is to let go of every word you have written, which is difficult, because there are always those lines of dialogue that you want to keep--but if it doesn't serve the story, you have to be liberal and kick it the eff out.

Which brings me to my point: why doesn't anyone tell you that your first effort in writing (term papers, scripts, stories) will never be good enough? Is it because you need to meet deadlines and have tests, and midterms and finals? I think, after reflecting, that my senior thesis at Carleton was a piece of S, but it could have been better if we were given a trimester on just re-writing.

Q. Is Northbridge awesome now?
A. Yes. But I'm sure after a few more re-writes, not a single word will remain the same.


Unknown said...

"I hope you get herpes!"

jessica lee said...

I hope you don't!