Friday, November 18, 2005

It's away!

Whew, so my round two submission for Writer's Arc is in an envelope and out the door. As with legal writing, everything took three times as long as I anticipated. And after nitting it all day, it's just mush in my brain. I think it's as good, given where it was ten days ago, as it was going to get in a weekish of rewriting. The page limit was a great impetus to cut out a good deal of non-essential stuff. Even at a litte bit over the 120-pages they asked contestants to aspire to, it's a lot leaner already. But who knows about these things. It's out of my hands now at least.

Which means back to some blogging after a little decompression.

P.S. to Warren. The Fifth Element is sooo supergreen. I love Besson's mix of straight up action and the off-kilter sense of humor. It takes itself just serious enough to be good sci-fi, but tounge-in-cheek enough to also be very funny when it wants to be. Leeloo Dallas Multipass!


  • Congrats on finishing. Good luck!

    By Blogger Fun Joel, at 11:12 PM  

  • Congrats as well. Good luck to you. I will not be moving on, as I still haven't cracked the current draft of The Dream Factory, and frankly, right now, the script is not just unpolished, it's unfinished. Still, it was a good exercise, and I'm that much closer to hitting the Dec. 1st deadline for Creative Screenwriting's AAA contest. And of course, I'm really shooting for Nicholl next year!!! Hope you, Shawna and WriterGurl all move on in Writer's Arc.

    Oh, and about The Fifth Element - what can I say? Maybe we should face off as lawyers on the issue. Fun Joel could act as the judge and jury. That's the kind of legal brief I'd actually enjoy writing!

    Congrats again!

    By Blogger Warren, at 11:38 PM  

  • Thanks for the encouragement. Although I got it to a point that I felt comfortable submitting it, it's still only my second pass at it. There is certainly more work that could (and will) be done on it. As we say in the law, there is no good legal writing, only good legal rewriting. But my thought was it doesn't have to be perfect, just one of the 25 best submitted to get to the next level.

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:23 AM  

  • Not ever having studied law apart from one subject of torts, etc at uni for a commerce degree, I would be interested to see what you and Warren have to say about writing legal briefs and screenwriting.

    It is just that over the past two weeks I have been writing a business plan, in the anticipation that I buy this business I am looking at presently, and I have found that trying to write screenplays has in fact helped me in my writing overall. I find that, in the business plan, I am adverse to waffling and only including exactly what is necessary, etc. and even trimming a fair bit to cut it down even further and keep it sharp.

    With the legal briefs, I think I understand the concepts of them, but is there a structure similar to screenwriting? It could be an interesting little article, just for interest sake.

    By Blogger Grubber, at 2:05 PM  

  • Dave,

    As Warren will no doubt attest, there is definitely a specific form to most legal writing, especially briefs. You learn it first year of law school and it is known as IRAC: Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion. Taking our Fifth Element hypotheical as an example, mine would go something like this:

    Question Presented: Could anyone of their own free will walk out on The Fifth Element before it ended?

    Rule: Walking out of a movie in the theaters is, as a rule, reserved for only the worst of the worst movies, and not an action to be taken lightly. Examples of films where an early exit would be appropriate are: Jaws 3-D, Showgirls, and anything by director Michael Bay.

    Analysis: It is clear that The Fifth Element is not of the class of films to which a walkout is entitled. Although Chris Tucker's intergalactic DJ character, Ruby Rod, is an acquired taste, Luc Besson consistently delivers sci-fi thrills and action with a verve that keeps the film from collapsing under it's own weight. And the groundbreaking CGI effects did more in 1997 than George Lucas did with his entire prequel trilogy.

    Conclusion: An unorthodox summer blockbuster, and perhaps slightly ahead of it's time, The Fifth Element nonetheless has enough going for it, and an emotionally resonant payoff at the end, that you give up on it early at your peril.

    Most legal writing is just a variation on this theme. Like good screenwriting, however, just getting the form down is only the first (relatively easy) step. Being a great lawyer or great screenwriter is then taking it to the next level and using your writing abilities within the format to advocate for your client or tell the story for audience.

    By Blogger Chris, at 5:32 PM  

  • Good luck!

    Warren, I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get it submitted, perhaps you'll be prepared for it the next time the Fellowship is seeking submissions, after all, you obviuosly have the goods to get past the First Round!

    By Blogger writergurl, at 12:03 AM  

  • "I.R.A.C.," I think, "Chris mentioned I.R.A.C. and I should chime in." But as I stare at that acronym from Hell, images and memories of law school classes comes rushing back to me. And suddenly I feel woozy. A strange knot in the pit of my stomach. The letters swarm in front of my face - I. R. A. Getting weaker. C. "Issue," I whisper, like Kane on his death bed. "Isssssuuuuueeee..." Too weak. Must rest. Blurry now. Getting darker. Weaker. Is it cold in here? So cold. I... can't...

    And then I pass out.

    By Blogger Warren, at 5:34 PM  

  • Thanks for that Chris, makes sense.

    Mind you, your argument falls down at is the car crash effect, you have to watch it, plus there were nekkid ladies...that always gives a movie a 30 minute minimum waiver, well at least until you are 21....or is it 70, can never quite remember that rule........

    By Blogger Grubber, at 9:55 PM  

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