Thank You

Many thanks to everyone who took part in last night’s reading. I love you all! I got a fresh perspective on the first act as whole, got lots of useful feedback about what worked for people and what didn’t, and came away with a lot of new clarity what needs trimming and/or rewriting.

Plus: Everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoy the act overall. Very encouraging.

The first act took just shy of 70 minutes to read through, which is too long. I’d like to cut about 20 minutes away from that. I think about 10 or 12 minutes of that will be easy and come just from tightening up scenes that can take it (and I think a lot of them can, now that I’ve heard the act read through). Cutting the act down further than that will probably require actually cutting two or three incidents along the way, though, and that’ll take more thought.

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2 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. I do not envy this task although once it’s done, you’ll feel lighter.

    While WILD SPACE A GO GO comes in at 2:15 with 15 minute intermission, we’re looking to trim as much as 30 minutes from it. Out went two songs, creating one non-singing character. Out went a whole scene, but to replace these missing beats, we’re gaining maybe only 10 minutes of cuts.

    Over all, these cuts may give us 20-25 minutes, dunno if we’ll ever get down to a trim shape. Anything else would probably be role and sub-plot cuts and none of the authors are willing to do that – – – yet.

    I can’t imagine trying to make these cuts on my own, without partner’s advice and comment. Best of luck. If you’re willing, send me the first act, when the cuts are completed. (Not for commentary, I would not dare inject myself so, but to see whether I have failed to recognize the musical potential of this story.)

  2. I’ve decided not to make any of the big cuts until I’m done with at least the second act. I will go through and tighten things up as much as I can — I think I can trim eight or ten minutes that way. But beyond that, I’m going to have to cut out a few of the less important incidents, and there are several ways to do that, and I can’t be sure which ones to cut till I’m more sure of the shape of the second and third acts. I have a pretty good idea where I’m ending up for my final scenes, but there are a lot of choices as to which threads from the novel to follow on my way there. And there’s not a whole lot of need to get the first act down to a good length till there’s more of the play to go with it.

    The one thing I do want to fix soon, though, is that I cut my original idea for scene eight, which would have taken five or six minutes, and replaced it with a one-page scene involving some servants just to create the impression of time passing. Mistake. I need that scene, only I need to figure out how to make it more of a two-minute vignette than a complete scene.

    But other than that, I’m not going to worry too much about getting it down below maybe 55 pages, and save the push to trim another ten for later.

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