Saturday, November 23, 2002
Wet Saturday in London. Robert Zemeckis called, having read the third draft of The Fermata, with two points, one of which is easy, and one of which utterly changes the end of the film, in a way that's consistent with what went before, but makes the ending darker. It's a fascinating process, working on The Fermata -- I was satisfied with the first draft, which was funny and cool, but it gets deeper and edgier with each draft, so I'm perfectly happy to keep writing it: there's none of that feeling of, in Douglas Adams's words "turning into your own word processor" you can sometimes get in Hollywood, doing draft after draft of something until you're ready to scream. (Although that can often come from the capricious requests of studio executives, and not from the demands of the story. Someone mentioned to me recently a script rewrite where the studio had asked that the lead be made more likeable, and the writer had gone in on page one and added a word to the first description of the lead, so it now read "WE ARE LOOKING AT GEORGE, A LIKEABLE MAN IN HIS 30s" and the studio was happy...)

Finished reading Derren Brown's book Absolute Magic, a marvellous extended essay on performing magic, much of which was applicable to writing as well (or I thought it was). Sample quote, "Anyone who performs should love the art in himself, and be very wary of loving himself in the art."

The missing sock has not yet turned up. I am suspicious. How far can it have gone? It was black, you know. Black socks don't just fade into the background. (Not unless the background's black, and the flat I'm in is very light-brown-wooden-floors-and-white. No black anywhere.) And if socks set off to seek their fortune or something, why don't they do it in pairs? Why alert us to their mysteries like this?