It’s been a long six weeks.
Many months ago now I sat with Kathleen and John of Mostly Ghostly and proclaimed with some confidence that I could have a 90 minute script for Order For Burning up and running in a month and a half. I was basing that assumption on the fact that the story was already there and that history had given me my ending before I’d even put fingers to keyboard. There was to be no juncture in which I would be stuck, I would simply be able to find out how events panned out in real life before pressing on with my Get Out Of Jail free card. I’d be done and dusted in no time.
It has not been the case.
If anything, conforming to history has proved even harder. If I was writing something completely fictional I’d have free reign to just make something up if I ran into a problem. Anything would work as long as I made it do so. With this project however I’m forever asking myself questions like ‘Is this actually possible in 1659?’ and needing to find an answer to get around the troubled sections.
A fine example are the trials themselves. When I hear the word ‘trial’ I’m imagining a court of law with a guy in a wig and banging a gavel on a podium whilst shouting ‘Order!’. I’m aware it was probably nothing like this at all back then but am unsure as to what to replace it with. These are the parts I’m writing whilst squirming, knowing that they are truly awful.
Also, I’m trying to make the film about the struggle of the women involved but during this first draft they very much seem to be taking a back seat to the battle between the community and religion. On that note also, bar a witch hunting man determined the put the blaze on anybody who moves the wrong way, there’s not much to give a more human side to the religion side of things anyway.
So there we go, I’m plugging away and writing junk desperate to get ‘The End’ written on draft one by Christmas. Part of the problem has also been getting the motivation to write it when I know it’s currently just going through motions and reading horribly when I check it back. Having something to work with will be invaluable however.