Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The lonely Trail; and accepting criticism

Because I had that wretched virus, because of the snow and the bitter cold, and because the quieter section of the Monsal Trail has been covered with a thick sheet of dimpled ice, I’ve not been cycling. And I’ve missed the Trail.

I got to feel like that bit at the end of The Railway Children:

They seemed to be hardly Railway children at all in those days, and as the days went on each had an uneasy feeling about this which Phyllis expressed one day.

“I wonder if the Railway misses us,” she said plaintively. “We never go to see it now.”

Yesterday I cycled up it for the first time in three weeks, and most of the ice had gone. And I can confirm that an hour’s brisk walk around the village does not use the same muscles as an hour’s brisk ride up the Trail.

At teatime we drove up above the village, onto the edge, to see if the starlings were murmurating in the same place as last year. But we saw no starlings, just some lovely sunset clouds.



The other news is that I had some professional feedback on episode one of my TV adaptation of BUT I TOLD YOU LAST YEAR THAT I LOVED YOU. Guess what? It’s not dramatic enough. There were other valid criticisms too, such as the suggestion that there were too many montages, and there was too much talking. I was upset for a day, and then I got excited again at the prospect of making it work the second time around.

So here’s the thing: I now understand why people who adapt novels for film sometimes have to tweak the plot, because I am tweaking my plot in order to add that extra drama. No, Fran is not going to murder Sol when he washes the duvet in the bath, but I am injecting more conflict commensurate with the existing tone and characters. Once I got over the resistance to change anything at all, it became easier. The trouble is that when something changes in episode one, it is likely there will have to be other changes in episodes two, three, and four.

In case you wondered, I am not hating the rewriting. I am loving the challenge of trying to get it to work. And my good friend Chrissie (crime writer extraordinaire) who understands plot, is being a wonderful help.

p.s. I have waited until now to have snowdrops on my header, because in my garden they only just came out. (That’s our cat, by the way.)


Christine said...

How kind . . .

Anonymous said...

Sue, I see JK Rowling had to change the ending of her first adult novel so that it sat better on the screen. I'd hate having to do that, perhaps that's why I'm not a writer... good luck with version 2 of the screenplay.

Sue Hepworth said...

I was resistant, but I have accepted it now. Thanks for your good wishes. X