Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Roll Dem 20 Sided Bones

I find myself, for the first time in a good while, with nothing to write. It won't last. It'll probably be over by this evening, when the last of the Nightshift notes are due in. Contributor Dan checked in on Sunday, and agreed with most of the previous points, adding "too much effing".

To fill the time in between Fade Out and redrafting, I celebrated Christmas in the way I best know how: roleplaying. My friends enjoyed A Very Cthulhu Christmas last night (in short, the nativity story but with the son of a eldritch alien horror instead of the son of God. Insert your own joke here.)

I've always been into roleplaying, as have been quite a lot of the other scribo-bloggers: James Henry, The Arnopp, Piers, Johns August and Rogers. I'm sure the list is longer, though I doubt that William Goldman ever rolled a barbarian.

It might be that we're just a big bunch of geeks. Most people would tell us that, and it's almost certainly true. On a deeper level, I think it's that we're always trying to tell stories, one way or another.

On that semi-poignant note (that's as poignant as I get, deal) I leave you and wish you a very Happy Winter Themed Holiday of your choice.

Though I'll probably post during Christmas. I am a geek, after all.

UPDATE: I didn't post after all! Bluff you, bluff you good!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sign O' The Time Lords


When I were a lad, Neighbours was at its zenith and The Doctor was Sylvester McCoy.

As such, the advert for the Christmas special of Doctor Who adorning my copy of TV Choice would have filled me with horror.

Currently, it promises to be one of the highlights of the Christmas TV schedule.

That's progress for you.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Half time...

So, before the second lap, it's half time. Yeah, that's right, I've started mixing metaphors. You can't stop me. I'm too powerful.

Nightshift is being distributed to my trusted cadre of friends and well wishers, who have been instructed to hit it with sticks. First response came in last night, courtesy of my live-in script editor/girlfriend.

There are problems. Not a great shock, it's what Goldman calls the 'for our eyes only' draft. If you've read the draft script at the back of 'Which Lie Did I Tell?', you'll know even Goldman's FOEO drafts have problems, so I'm in good company. I am also adding self delusion to the list of crimes in this post.

What are those problems, I hear you ask*?

  • First up, the biggy, unclear protagonist. Gah! Script death! Girlfriend was kind enough to suggest it was an ensemble piece. This is sadly not the case. I just don't spend enough time with the lead, and too much time on supporting characters. So, fix that.
  • Second, there are two monstrously ugly exposition scenes. It couldn't have got any worse if I'd have preceded the dialogue with "As you know..." This one's difficult, as there's information that needs to be in there - but having people just tell it to each other? Not my finest writing.
  • Third, the main female supporting character talks like a bloke. Always a danger, but fixable. Again, I am in good company**.
  • Fourth, something horrible happens to one of the main characters that's a bit off, tonally.

Plus side? It's apparently funny, the (supposed) lead is likeable, the SF elements didn't seem out of place, a minor supporting character is lovely, and I've got a solid base to work from.

More reviews soon. Peace out.


* And I can hear you. Don't think I can't. I know alllllllll about your goings on.

** After Death Proof and Hostel, does comparing yourself to Quentin Tarantino count as self-delusion or self deprecation?

Monday, 10 December 2007

Ways to cheer yourself up with Final Draft, pt. 1

Feeling down? Just can't get that page count you need? Final Draft can help!

Just export your script to RTF, and through the magic of buggy margins, watch your script grow, grow, grow!

See 55 pages become 65! Now that's a TV pilot!

See your malnourished 90 page spec become an agent snagging 120 page marathon!

Because a writer who can write more, can write better.

This message has been brought to you by The Deleted Scenes' insecurities.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Done de done done...

NIGHTSHIFT PAGE COUNT: 57. And that's your lot.

Try singing the post title to the tune that plays when evil is afoot in an old movie. Great fun.

Splurge draft of Nightshift finished, less than a minute ago. Bed time way overdue*.

Sleep now.

UPDATE: Splurge draft printed and in handy clip folder. Off to Zafiro's for the traditional pint of Guiness with girlfriend. Yay.

* Yes, I know it's only just past twelve. I also know that I rock, and rock hard. So leave it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Explosions in space are apparently quite loud...

NIGHTSHIFT PAGE COUNT: 52/60

Stormtroopers in a poolIn the words of the nameless, soon to be shot out of the vacuum in an implausibly loud explosion fighter pilot from Star Wars: "Almost there.... al... most.... there..."

52 pages down. 8 pages left. Almost there.

Now that's a fallacy on at least two levels. First off, it might be 8 pages, it might not. The script's working towards some sort of end. It may come in at 6 pages, maybe 15. Neither way will break my heart.

Second, this is the splurge draft, so I'm not on the home stretch, I'm just about to finish the first lap*. There's stuff I know is too long, and stuff I need to expand. Almost all of it will be rewritten. But I'm not touching it yet. All that's for the second lap.

Right now, I'm happily lying to myself. Almost there.

BBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!

UPDATE: According to this site, explosions in space would make noise, rendering my snarky titling a mixture of the redundant and the factual. Cool.

* This post contains 66% of your recommended daily amount of metaphor abuse. Oh, also, I know the picture doesn't have anything to do with the post, but it was much better than all the other pictures I got when searching for "Star Wars Explosion".