Rewriting the First Scene: The Devil in Nita Dodd

I just went back and looked at the first scene of Nita, to see how bad it was. It was bad. (Click here if you want to see how bad.). Nita was humorless, it read like I was setting up Chloe to Mort’s love interest (I wasn’t), there were a ton of names, and there was very little conflict. It sucked.

Then I read the latest version from this week, six years after the first version. It’s better, but I’ve rewritten it so many times that I think I can recite it in my sleep. It’s Nita vs. Button (Chloe) so at least I have conflict, Button trying to convince Nita not to get out of the car, and Nita determined to get out to help somebody. There’s still a lot of characters, and I’m not sure it’s focused enough (I think the conversation with Frank is still part of the Nita/Button conflict, but not sure about the conversation with Jason), and it doesn’t have any echoes of the last scene which I need to fix.

But I’ve been rewriting this sucker for six years so . . . The latest version of the first scene is below, should you want to compare what’s changed in six years. Short answer: EVERYTHING. Well, everything except the setting.

And of course, you all will weigh in on this in the comments. It’s the Argh way. Continue reading