People who drop by this blog are aware of the problems encountered with writing and more importantly, completing the "Old Soldiers" play. In the way of a quick backgrounder, the play had its origin as a short fiction piece - one of my all-time favorites - that I decided to try and convert into a radio play for submission to the BBC International Radio Competition. Thing is, I've never written a play specifically for radio, which is a challenge in itself.
Did regular check-ins on the BBC competition site for information and updates, hints, etc. but somehow omitted reading the section covering how to lay out a play for radio.
Up until this point, I've been using a playwriting format and adding regular '"SFX" or sound effects where and when necessary. So I'm up to the 43 pages point, nearing the end and during one of my regular check-ins discover to my angst that it ain't gonna work. If I would have checked still further (hind-sight is so easy), there is a section devoted to laying out a play for radio, which I for whatever reason overlooked. As I neared the end, there was this gut feeling something was missing or awry. According to the "how-to" section, there are definite guide-lines including line spacing, etc. to which one must adhere. Going by the BBC requirements, my unfinished play as it now stands would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-odd pages. The finished product can't be more than 54 pages.
The reality that my version didn't meet their i.e. BBC strict guidelines was followed by a quick R&R - rant&rave - around the house yelling, "Noooooo" accompanied by "why me?" and the inevitable, "Joe and the boys will never get their story told."
"That's it!" I told myself along with "I've had it!" resulting in walking away from the computer for a few hours.
"So where are you at now, Eleanor?" you're probably asking yourself.
After reflecting on the turn of events and the time invested in working on the project - we're talking years here - I decided to once again (how many more times one asks oneself) attempt to re-write the play with the given guidelines. It will require eliminating some scenes and adjusting the story line, which I've already started to do. The problem is that some of the new scenes that will have to go are really relevant and are dialogue rich. Oh well. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
Sorry Joe and the guys. You're gonna have to wait a bit longer.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:
Good news! It appears that after re-formatting the layout of the play as per the BBC requirements, it appears that everything just may fit perfectly. However, there are some modifications that will have to be made to the story line for flow purposes. It all depends on whether or not the ending will fit in with the current trend of the story line. The good thing is that there is still time to make the changes.
Will update here as we near the end...one hopes.