WilderWorks

Apr 19, 2010

Things To Worry About [Sick Day]

First
A certain someone gave me an unelaborated nasty look when she read one of the first lines in my first scene of Sick Day, a line describing the hero as someone that should be featured in a Playboy spread called "Girls of the Big Earthquake." Now I'm barely five pages into this thing and I'm already doubting my early favorite line.

I can't avoid the truth: there's something about the phrase that I like. I like both the verbal turn (trading "Big Ten" for "Big Earthquake"), especially since it comes right at the end of the phrase, and I also love the image of a Playboy spread of smiling woman covered in white dust, with cuts and bruises, standing outside of rubble.

But, I can't avoid this truth either: it's suicide to take unnecessary risks on the first five or ten pages; an early stinker can kill the whole mood.
Second
The third act suddenly strikes me as not nearly crazy enough. Perhaps it's because I've been watching Fawlty Towers. Perhaps it's because it's true. Perhaps it's the usual over-active worry.

The fact is: I've given this sucker a romantic comedy third act, but this isn't strictly a romantic comedy; more and more, I'm trying to make it a crazier, more "me" comedy, as much as I can. So, the question becomes: why doesn't it end more like War of the Roses - deep in the midst of war? Why can't I turn the downer ending of War of the Roses on its head and give it a happy resolution, right at the end of the conflict? Why am I steering back to safe, calm harbors right when I could be rocketing into madness?

I'm not going to stop writing to rejigger - but I promise you this - I am going to worry relentlessly, and lie sleeplessly night after night, trying to think of somewhere else it can go, somewhere more insane. From the moment we return to the E.R., it could go anywhere... why is it going back to Hollywood status quo? Perhaps because that's wisest?
Third
As quickly as I'm setting things up - are people going to get antsy waiting for them to fight? I've been using the onset of the illness as my inciting incident. Will the audience disagree?