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To Live For is finished

That was definitely one of the worst research experiences of my life. Like, it's one thing to search for "Ways to kill yourself," it's another thing to have to trawl around suicide forums (which is a thing that exists) reading people talking about their attempts and what they're gonna try and why they're doing it and whatever. It's messed up.

But the first draft is done, and God willing, I won't have to do any more research like that for the edits. We'll see what happens.

I also finished the second draft of Messiah, and it went far better than the second draft of Shadows. I was a lot more structured about how I did it this time, and it helped a lot. I made a big checklist... and you know what? I'll just paste it here.


###MINOR CHANGES###
(X) Physical characteristic for Kai in year -4
(X) Describe Bekter when we first see him
(X) Fix first two scenes
(X) Make page 2 less cryptic
(X) Trim scene endings
(X) Nike should mention Erik in year 7, especially soon after they leave.
() Add Nike being sad and Kai cheering her up RE: Leaving Erik
(X) Explain Ascension by first encounter with Nike - maybe sooner. I could do it when Nike's having trouble meditating.
() Change Kai talking with Erik about witches. Maybe even cut it.

###MAJOR CHANGES###
[X] Finish the friggin' story
(X) Year -4
(X) Year 7
[X] Make Nike's first appearance in Year 15 more climactic
(X) Figure out what I should do: SWAP IT WITH THE FIELD OF BODIES
(X) Swap the scenes, adjusting for continuity
(X) Adjust for plot
(X) Make it less... make less happen. More mysterious.
[] Cut August
(X) Chop job; give what lines I can to Erik, move what lines I can't to dirty year 7 scenes
(X) Clean up her parts after Erik's death.
() Arrange Nike's new lines as makes sense
() Wherever I don't cut August, change her to avoid parallels to Nike. Make her
older/younger or a dude or something
[X] Add Bekter in Year 15
[Y] Trim superpowers
() Make a list of powers
(X) Decide which powers to cut: Healing
(X) Cut them

###FINAL CHANGES###
() Check for healing powers I haven't cut
() Rearrange timelines
() Tweak for flow

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You'll notice not everything is checked. Most of that was deliberate; me deciding against doing something, but leaving it on the list so it'd stay on my mind. The only thing I just didn't get around to was changing Kai talking with Erik about witches, which I added late and then was behind on To Live For so it got all the effort.

Like I said, I'm really happy with the way the second draft panned out, and I think anyone who reads both will agree it's a strong improvement. Not that a second draft being better than the first is unusual, but it's nice to know they're not all gonna be draft two of Shadows.

Both draft one of To Live For and draft two of Messiah are up on the My Screenplays page.