After months of breaking story, meticulous research, and countless hours spent hunched over my computer — I finished the first draft on one of the pilots my writing partner and I are working on. I should be happy! But I’m not. It just isn’t working. Some parts are great, and exactly what we had in mind when breaking the story — but other story arcs and characters didn’t make any sense. Something needed to change. Something big.
Over this past weekend my writing partner and I sat down with a blank cork board, a stack of notecards, and a sharpie. By Sunday evening we had re-boarded the entire pilot. We kept most of the last 4 acts in tact, but completely changed the first act — getting rid of a lot of lengthy, unnecessary and boring exposition. But perhaps the biggest change — we killed our main character. Not in a story sense… we actually cut him out of the entire script completely.
We finally came to the conclusion that the majority of confusion in the script stemmed from the central character. There wasn’t enough motivation and dramatic need surrounding him — and anything we tried to throw in seemed forced. We discovered one of the minor characters had better dramatic potential within the story, and as an exercise, we ran through the story with him as the lead. Everything started to make a lot more sense.
So there you go. I’m about to start rewriting this entire script from another person’s perspective.
If it helps the story –kill your baby.