Process: Script (Or: “You go here and do this, OK?”)

I’ve gotten back to work on my script that I began for Script Frenzy, even though a victory is not something I’ll be able to declare on the contest.  However, I’m going to finish the thing anyway, because I like the way the story’s going and I want to have a finished script under my belt before November hits.

 

And now to dork about my script project!
(Note:  No title mentioned because I need to come up with something that sounds less like a cheesy romance novel title.  Seriously.  I’m TERRIBLE with titles.)

 

A little voice…?

In the script, an angel and god play important parts—in fact, the angel is one of the most important characters in the entire setup.  It was easy to come up with a compelling design for the angelic character—but giving a concrete presence to God (capital G for clarity here)?  Now there was a daunting task.  Rather than coming up with physical form, I decided to convey this particular character by sound.

It’s a rather artful (at least I thought so) conceit because it gets around the fact that three different people could see the same thing four different ways, to riff on an old rabbi’s joke.  The other thing that I liked about it was the fact that it gave me a chance to play around with reactions—it’s one thing to know what was said right off, but it’s another to watch the reactions as the thing progresses.

I’m well aware of how difficult it is to represent such a thing in a script, though, and deciding just what sound would be perfect to manifest the ‘voice’ of God not to mention getting around the fact that according lore only Metatron can actually hear said voice without developing an exploding head was a bit of work.  I eventually decided on a series of chime-like bells: soft and quiet when calm, discordant when agitated, brazen and loud when angered.  Only test readers will be able to tell me if this worked properly.

 

Snark Factor.

I’m going to have to reconcile the snark with the storyline…the snark’s necessary to keep the main plot from getting depressing (after all, my protagonist’s literally a dead man—not undead, just plain old regular dead) but I’ve got some mood whiplash working in this thing. Sometime during the editing phase, I’ll have to balance things out…which means—

 

Scope Change.

 

I’m probably going to wind up with something other than a movie-screenplay. I might have a miniseries before this thing is done.  Or I might adapt it into a graphic novel.  Or I might even just novelize it and go the novella route.  I could do all three.

Or I could just take the red-pen-and-scissors approach until it FITS in the movie-format.

I haven’t decided yet.  Hells, I haven’t even finished yet.  I’m WAY ahead of myself here.

So now I’m going to turn around and get started on getting finished.

NOT Winning!

A win during Script Frenzy—my first Script Frenzy—is not going to happen.

Several things came up in the process of me writing this:

 

  • I wound up getting sick a few times—PTSD is a mother.
  • I went broke again due partially to the PTSD—my job has not been accommodating until recently.  It’s improved vastly since that hellish day.  (But if my supervisor pulls that sort of thing again, I’m suing.  I might still do it.  She could’ve put me back in the hospital.)
  • The—

 *record needle scratches*

…you know what, it’s probably going to be easier to say that PTSD happened and leave it at that.  It’s been getting in the way of most things lately, and it’s difficult to shake.

But even with that phantom hanging around over my shoulder, even without the ability to win this thing (unless I can manage to crank 40 pages in a two-day span), I’m going to finish this script.  The simple fact is, I’ve fallen in love with the story, which is the magic recipe for finishing a draft.  And what’s not to love?  We have vengeance, wrongful death, redemption, and the hope that love can be found even in the afterlife.  I am going to finish it, I am going to polish it, and—gods willing—I am going to pitch it and get it sold.

Even if it winds up being sort of an art house-sort of film.  And even if it winds up being more of a mini-series instead.  One of my favorite writers once said that a script is a blueprint, and most of the shiny-making gets done long after the original writer’s main work is done.  I’ll be keeping that in mind while I finish up.  I’m guessing if I relax and make sure to get a little bit done as close to every day as possible, it’ll get done before the middle of May.

A Rough Ride…

I’m having a harder time than I have in a while.  I’m feeling alternatively ranty and antisocial, stuck between wanting to vent at someone and wanting to just sit in a dark room and think about nothing.  My head’s all turned around and I’m not sure what to do about working in the morning—besides taking a couple valerian pills in my purse and chomping down on them as soon as I feel the ceiling rushing down to meet me.

It was from Chuck Wendig’s blog over at Terribleminds where I learned that no matter how bad shit could get, no matter how fucked up shit gets, no matter how utterly shitfucked shit gets fucked as it were—you gotta keep working through it.

So I’m writing.

And cleaning my apartment compulsively.  (Did I clean the fridge?  Were that many bottles of kefir floating around when I left yesterday?  WHERE IS MY SHIRT?)

I ought to be asleep right now, but there’s a security alarm blaring.  A quick test of the air around me suggests that someone burned something that used to be either pork chops or steak.  Since there are no clouds floating into my apartment I can assume that there is, in fact, no destruction risk.  Which is good.  But the smell of burning ex-meat is…yeegh.

I scrounged enough money out of the corners of my apartment to justify trying a supplement for my panic attacks—very important, since my therapist won’t give me anything stronger than what I’m already on for them.  I personally thought that my case was made when the dick of a receiving nurse triggered me on accident—accidental—proceeded to make it worse—after I literally begged her not to do the thing with her hands that she was doing—and then positively shouted at me to sit down.

I felt like the smaller kid who gets blamed for the mishaps at home.

But even through all of that, I’m still writing.  I’m only six pages behind on Script Frenzy now (I’m not positive how I managed that!  Did I get a bunch of writing done and then brainzap on it?) and—most surprising to me—the apartment’s actually clean.  Not clean as in “Well, I won’t break my neck now,” but real clean.  I feel a sense of accomplishment over that.  The place hasn’t been this clean since I got binned.

 

The alarm’s still going, so I’ll just get ready for when it shuts off.  I can’t sleep with this racket, but I sure as hell can get ready for it.  I’m having some kefir on ice and crashing out.

Chrysanth WebStory What’s your WebStory today?

Script Frenzy – A Check-in.

In a fit of crazed impulse, I decided to try Script Frenzy.  Script Frenzy, in case you were not aware, is similar to NaNoWriMo in that you have thirty days to produce a zero draft—the difference here being that you must produce a script (ergo, Script Frenzy).  Stuck on enforced sabbatical from work, I figured “Hey, I got nothing else to do, why not try this on for size?”

With that same attitude, I started playing with the plot generator.  Some of them were…odd.  The others were…weirdly plausible if you were trying to make a film where one or more of the main characters were high at some point.  And then there was the one I got that I decided to run with.  So how am I doing here on the twelfth?

  • I’m three pages behind.  Of course this is down from fifteen pages behind, so I think I’m making some progress.
  • My MMC’s said “I don’t” at the altar, and his ex-fiancee isn’t hating him for it—she knows why, since [spoiler spoiler] isn’t his fault.
  • We’ve met the parents, who were first angry and then understood why it wouldn’t have ever worked  no matter how much they (okay, just her father) would have wanted it to.
  • We’ve met the FMC’s angry brother, who is NOT amused at the perceived humiliation of his little sister.
  • What else?  Oh yeah, my MMC protagonist is dead.  Accidental defenestration.  Broke his back on the landing—landed on a motorcycle.  Probably broke a few other things, too.

…what?  The love subplot can’t go on while he’s alive.

He’s also met the angel who’s been assigned to escort him to the other side.  AKA – the love interest.  I anticipate a bit of a hang-up toward the middle of act II, but hey—this is a zero draft, and there’s time to work out the kinks later.  Right now, my focus is on catching up.

Chrysanth WebStory What’s your WebStory today?