I’m co-writing a script with a writing partner and we’ve run into a wall because we have opposing opinions on our latest draft. I think we should go one way and she thinks we should go another way.
Normally we would try to find a way to compromise and work both of our ideas into the next draft, but in this case it’s seemingly impossible. What she wants do will change the way readers perceive the story in a fundamental way. We have a twist at the end of the second act that is very important to the story, but if we make her changes the twist will lose all of its impact. I’m certain that if we make the changes our story will suffer. She thinks otherwise. We’ve come to a standstill because we disagree with each other wholeheartedly and we don’t know what to do now. Any ideas?
I don’t have an answer, really. I’m posting your question mostly so readers will consider one of the significant downsides of writing with a partner. While it’s great to have an extra brain helping to write a script, you’re unlikely to always agree, and compromises may not always make sense.
I’ve only written one thing with a partner — the pilot(s) for Ops, with Jordan Mechner. Jordan’s a friend and a good writer. But I have more experience, and tended to use that fact to win any and all disagreements. That’s not a particularly healthy working relationship. We’re better friends now that we’re not staring at the same scenes.
Some people are good writing partners, just like some people are good roommates. I’m not either one, frankly, and that’s not likely to change.
It’s not an answer, but my best suggestion at this point, Will, is to let her try it her way. It may spoil the twist, but it may uncover some other interesting possibilities you aren’t considering.