On having a deft touch (not)

This morning I put three minor edits in to Episode 2 of Shelved (the sitcom I’m working on).

The trouble is that the minor edits (and they really were very minor) had a cascade effect.

Episode 3 had a corresponding scene tweak which led to Episode 4 having a comedic device upgrade. As a result, Episode 5 had a re-characterisation and Episode 6 is up for a rewrite tomorrow.

Which is critical really; Episode 6 being the season climax.

In the last draft I thought Episode 6 was right, but with the new thin end of the ‘change wedge’ springing from the scene tweak in Ep 3, the first five episodes now feel tighter; better knitted together.

The dialogue has better structure, the visuals are leaner but more effective and there’s a new running gag which could feed a second season.

I know I suffer from Compulsive Editing Syndrome (and if that doesn’t exist, it really should!), but just once I’d like to stand back from a piece of fiction and be able to say ‘There, that’s finished!’

The hard thing, or so I’m told by the people who have successfully achieved this, is getting the pitch right and attracting the engagement of the commissioning powers.

But I’ve always had a difficulty in letting go, that’s my real problem.


In other news.

Sophie’s laptop has had life breathed in to it and is now almost silently whirring away, like an almost silently whirring thing.

It’s much faster than it ever has been too.

The hard-disk was fried which was why no amount of recovery procedures could get the thing back on its feet. Fiddling about with the registry isn’t going to work if the partitions are crumbling.

So it has a new hard-disk and a fresh install of XP.

I imported a backup of datafiles from one of the EDD’s I use as three-tiered backup devices.

And the hardest job encountered?

Getting the iTunes database to behave itself.

Really, iTunes, who’d have believed it?

As I was *manually* making squillions of adjustments to the content in that piece of Apple software, I was mentally composing a nested conditional SELECT statement and a corresponding nested UPDATE command which, between the two of them, would have tidied the 2,000+ song records, weeded out the duplicates which iTunes insisted on creating in the first place (because of a bad piece of re-routing in the most recent iTunes upgrade), renamed a few tracks to INITCAP *and* produced a tidy-up exception report, when I suddenly realised that my VB skills may not have worked on the Apple product anyway.

And then I thought ‘No, iTunes on XP has to be VB-compliant’.

But it was all academic anyway, because the exception-handling sub-routine would have needed to be about 80 lines long.

So I persevered and just did it manually.

What did I say about having a deft touch? Not?

But at least Soph’s back up and running, and I can now put my EDDs away.

So there is a slight feeling of satisfaction in this house tonight.

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6 Responses to On having a deft touch (not)

  1. Soph says:

    And…to add to the satisfied-ness in the House of Jones…

    I have just completed my first game of Spider Solitaire post-Hard-Disk-Fry-Up.

    I am very smug.

    Thank you for fixing my laptop.

    My name is Sophie. I am a PC.

  2. Soph says:

    (PC as in laptop, not Mac).

    Just in case that made no sense at all.

  3. Allister says:

    Running gags, done well, are brilliant.

    So, Soph, next time you’re offered a fry up for breakfast…

    I could start explaining how easy a Mac would have been to recover, but I won’t. 🙂

  4. Masher says:

    Do you have 36-hour days in that part of Oxfordshire?

  5. Brennig says:

    Allister, I’m going to kick back on that comment. A Mac HD installation/reinstall would have been as easy not more difficult. The problem was entirely due to Apple who embedded a reorder/reorganise the hierarchy command in the latest version of iTunes which *no fall back* command of ‘if importing from and old structure recovery don’t duplicate’. This is negligence.

    Masher, I also nipped in to Oxford for lunch with a a very talented musician – forgot to mention that bit. 🙂

  6. Allister says:

    Just so long as you don’t kick like Tom (or was it Vin?) But I wouldn’t have to reinstall any software. Just restore the lot. 🙂