Coming Up Short

I've found myself presented with quite an interesting problem lately. I've talked about it some before, but then I thought it was just a thing with that script. I figured with the story I set up for that one, it was just going to be a short script, and that's what I ended up with, so all was fine. This new one I'm writing, I don't know what to do with.

It's an action story. And a spoof. I've written the word explosion or derivatives of it quite a few times in the writing of this one. The part that worries me is that I'm about to roll over into the third act and I haven't yet hit page 60. Unless the script has an overly long third act, it's going to make this script also too short. Which, I know, is an arbitrary sort of situation, but I just don't want it to be an ongoing problem.

I remember when I would write a screenplay and have to struggle to keep it under 150 pages. The first draft of Indy Film, a comedy I wrote a few years ago, weighed in at a massive 140 pages. That's awful for an entirely different reason. I think my writing has improved since then. I think I've learned a certain sense of brevity that's necessary for a screenwriter. Apparently this pendulum has swung too far in that direction.

There is, of course, the thought that none of it really matters with this script. I went into this one knowing I wouldn't show anyone. It's intended to be one just for fun. It's actually overly inappropriate to the point that some of it makes me uncomfortable. That's what happens when you try to mimic the style of another script sometimes.

But I want to know I can write an action movie. I hit this point, this frustrating point, every time I try to write an action movie, where everything seems to stall and I just can't figure out why. Maybe I'm not writing "explosion" enough.

That would certainly add some more length to it.

I don't expect many of you to care about this one. This is the type of blog post that I figure is good for the future. Twenty years down the road, I can look back and laugh at the young punk who was having so much trouble with this or that. That's the idea behind a lot of this blog, I suppose. Making it easier for me to remember things that happened. And for the documentarian who has to tell the story of my certainly-coming slip into insanity.

But before I go, and even though I never really get answers to these, let me ask this. What do you think of short action movies? They're okay sometimes, aren't they? Like Zombieland. That was less than 90 minutes long and it was perfect. Right? Or am I alone there?