Angoel (angoel) wrote,

I'm lying here, insomniacally waiting for the sleeping tablet to kick in. So I thought I'd brain-dump about the 'A Civil Campaign' script conversion.

[As per my previous post, I thought about creating a filter, but there were too few people who wanted to be filtered out to overcome my reluctance to actually do it. Filters require maintainance and caring who's on them and stuff, and I don't want to do that where not necessary.]

[For that matter, I'm tempted to get rid of some of the utilitarian filters I've set up in the past. I assume that when I delete a filter, the filtered post becomes a private post instead - can anyone confirm whether this is actually the case?]

Digressions aside, script conversions can be likened to the eating of elephants - it's best to break them down into lumps rather than attempting to consume them whole. That being the case, I shall list what I think the stages should be:

1) Take the book, get it into a globally consistent electronic format, and turn the sections with dialogue into readthroughable dialogue (i.e. starting with the correct character's names).

Status: DONE (Largely; there still needs to be a pass to ensure that the character's names are consistent throughout the script).

2) Analyse the relative proportions of dialogue, have a look at which characters are major or minor, what natural anti-pairings exist (sets of characters that one actor can play without speaking to themselves), with an aim to working out which characters can be omitted or which need to be bolstered). May be useful to combine this stage with a brief precis of characters (it'll be needed at some stage, why not do it now).

3) Identify difficult scenes for dramatisation purposes (Dinner Party, Council of Courts, etc.) and work out how these should be dealt with. (Dinner party - inherent difficulty of presenting party scenes; Council of Courts is montage in different areas in the book leading to a simultaneous climaxes - harder to get a sensible dramatic arc in the readthrough if the scenes keep changing (?)). Rough rearrangements of text and general plan of how to deal with the issue rather than actual rewriting. End result a text in a broadly sensible order for detail work.

4) Go through work identifying (a) any key pieces of information that are provided in non-dialogue sections and (b) assumptions on non-dialogue information that pieces of dialogue need. Find areas in which dialogue could be bolstered to provide this information, preferably through dialogue with non-main characters (although may be hard as lots of the non-dialogue information is expressed as main-character thought), and where a narrator may be required.

5) Rewrite everything!

6) Pass on to third parties who tell you what you've done wrong.

It still looks like quite a big elephant. I think I'll avoid it for a bit until I'm in a more elephant-slaying mood. In the mean-time, critiques and suggestions welcome.
Tags: readthrough
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