If you know me and my work I tend to write short mini-series. The episodes are short by design. If all are added together they will typically run about the length of a standard movie (90-120 minutes). The Behemoth runs for almost 3 hours. I like to keep them short as it gives the listener the chance to say “Hey – look. The next one is only 15 minutes long. I definitely have time to listen!” Whereas they may not if the episode is a lot longer. And this is not to say that this is the way it should be done. Absolutely not. It’s just how I look at it and how I create. Your plans and creative techniques may turn out to be completely different.
Now that the first draft is done it’s time to edit. I dislike editing. Immensely. I’ve always been that way. Once a writing project is done I want to move on to the next. I also don’t like to see how bad the first draft is so I’d rather not look at it. But, of course, I have to.
So this is what I do. I let it sit. For at least a week. I might work on something else, start another writing project, or tackle some other ‘pre-production’ items (voice artist search, cover-art, etc).
After a few days have passed I’ll run through the script again, fix mistakes, tighten up dialogue, and add or cut lines. I’ll also read it out loud as I do this. It always surprises me how something might look great on paper but when it’s read out loud it comes off as wooden or unemotional.
How many drafts do I go through before I consider it in decent shape?
Just kidding. Usually three. Sometimes four. It depends. I do have to stop looking at it at some point. I can always find something to change or tweak.
As this is one of least favorite things to do I’d like to hear from you. How do you tackle editing a script or writing project?
Other Posts in this series:
- Birth of An Audio Drama 013: Recorded Lines
- Birth of An Audio Drama 012: Read-through
- Birth of An Audio Drama 011: Recording
- Birth of An Audio Drama 010: Voices
- Birth of An Audio Drama 009: Cover Art
- Birth of An Audio Drama 008: Drafts
- Birth of An Audio Drama 007: Format
- Birth of An Audio Drama 006: Framing and Narration
- Birth of An Audio Drama 005: The Discovery
- Birth of An Audio Drama 004: The Project
- Birth of An Audio Drama 003: Evernote
- Birth of An Audio Drama 002: Listen
- Birth of An Audio Drama 001: Plan
- Birth of an Audio Drama – A Very Brief Overview