STORY WRONG TURN
The story is blazing along, almost in a white heat, and I reach the end. Feeling good. Let it sit for a few days. Have my screenplay partner read it. First response: First half is terrific. Get back to you when I finish. Second response: What happened? It took this turn and ... Well, you can fill in the blank for yourself. Didn't see it then but I do now. It's like two different stories. One is a hardboiled noir (which is what we wanted) and the other is a over-the-top spy thriller. Both are good but not spliced together. Rethink. Rethink. What if? What if? Okay, tighten the beginning. Change a couple of characters including the villain (not as easy as it sounds). And remember --- sometimes you have to "kill your darlings." Meaning it may be a really cool scene or line of dialogue but not in this story. Rewrite, rewrite. Now the "work" begins. Actually, the work continues.
(As for the picture, another Van Gogh)