June 29th, 2006

I'm dense

Yesterday I got a call from my film agent (yes, I know - I'd forgotten I had one, too). There'd been a nibble on my screenplay God's Darkness (aka Nephilim). But (as Pee-Wee Herman once said, "Most people have a big but")...the person who'd read it at this one production company liked it but thought it was too "dense" for her colleagues to read (she told my agent "I can tell she writes books!").

Okay, I just plucked a random page from the script:

Does that look dense? I've always sort of prided myself on the compactness of my scripts. I have a friend who is repped by huge managers and who is perennially on the verge of becoming huge, and his scripts are so chunky they're like the War and Peace of screenplays (however, I will say he's occasionally told to cut back on the density).

Is it because I've used a four-syllable word ("mythology") in there? I mean, c'mon - this thing is a low-key horror thriller without any big action set pieces or major effects. There are no twisty subplots involving the guy who's smuggling drugs or the executive who's secretly stealing money. In many ways it's one of the simplest, least complex stories I've ever written, and this really is a typical page. What gives?

I think I'm glad I'm writing novels...