2/20/03: Don’t run over little Johnny till I know him

Word count (outline and notes): 12949 In The Making of Memento, there’s a quote from director Chris Nolan: “When I had written the script, which seemed to work on the page, the feeling was if you’re going to use this unconventional structure, my impulse at script stage was to teach the reader the structure, to do it very quickly with small scenes, so that in the first ten pages you have an idea of the structure throughout. What I found with Following and Memento, when you come to watch the film, was that’s counterproductive. It becomes too baffling for the audience. The audience has to have a period in which just to connect with characters. With both films, I took a couple of the initial blocks, and combining them, so they run conventionally over two blocks. With Memento, there were cut points at the arriving at the derelict building, and I ran that together. It’s a longer block of time.” This ties together with what Tim Powers said at Writers of the Future: “Don’t run over little Johnny till I know him.” In other words, establish character first, plot second. Wrote about 300 words of notes on story structure, bridging conflict, and Jason’s motivations based on the above. Going to San Francisco for Potlatch tonight. Have some critiques to do, but hope to get some writing done on the plane. Maybe even start drafting!

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