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 Subject: Re: Attn: JMS Adding novel outlines to the 15th script volume.
    Date: 10/3/2005 9:22:18 PM  

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Jan wrote:
> In that about the outline for "In the Beginning" (Or another of the
> TV movies)? 'Cause it'd be educational...'cause it's not the outlining we were
> taught in school and because it's fun to read!
> Jan

There isn't one. There aren't any for pretty much the whole of Babylon
5, at least in terms of my scripts.

I don't write outlines. Ever, if I can avoid it.

This is for one singular reason: my outlines suck. For me, the
characters aren't the characters until I'm in the script and hearing
them speaking. Otherwise it's all just moving pieces around the
plot-line. I write probably the worst outlines in the history of
really bad outlines.

So I don't write them. I tell the people I work with that I will write
the first draft as the outline for purposes of money and notes (meaning
I won't pull a "well, it's already written, so I can't change it" if
the studio has notes).

They're often a bit nervous about this initially...but very soon they
get on board with the idea. Because a script I write from an outline
is always, ALWAYS inferior to one written on the fly, because I lock
into what I thought of when I was just moving pieces around.

So I think there are a few from the very first season, but just the
most basic, shorthand kind of synopses...a page or two, just saying
what it's about and what the major themes are, not beat-by-beat.

Once they got past the anxiety of not getting outlines, I was free to

B5, Crusade, Jeremiah, on and on...I just don't write outlines. I sit
down at the computer, type FADE IN..and the rest follows. I've said it
before, I open up a window on that place and that time and just write
down what happens. I blast through to the end...type FADE OUT and out
the script goes, usually with only minor changes thereafter, usually to
accommodate production changes.

So all those scripts you have, Jan, that have FINAL DRAFT was also my
first draft and also the ONLY draft to that point...I would literally
start in on page 1 on a Monday, hit page 48 on a Tuesday or Wednesday,
hand it over to distribution...and what you have, is what came out, as
it came out.

I'm not even in the same state let alone the same ballpark, or even the
same league, or even the same *planet*...but the only time I ever heard
someone describe the creative process the way it is in my head -- for
good or ill -- was the first time I saw Amadeus. There's the part
where you see Mozart composing, and it's all just *there*...he's
writing, and it's playing in his head...he gets interrupted, he looks
up, the music stops, he talks to someone, then goes back to it...and
the music just starts playing again, every note in place. And when he
hit the end, he was done, no revisions. Again, I'm not making a
comparison, I ain't that stupid, but in terms of the *process* that's
identical to the way I work.

So in terms of outlines...there just aren't any.


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