Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I had a really good writing day — finally. Thirty three pages on POWER OF WORDS, which isn’t what I’m supposed to be working on, but there you have it. I did the Prague section,and am moving on to the New Mexico section. When I go back and rewrite with a real eye to “re-envisioning” the book, I need to layer in the setting. The book takes place in various locations (as does the piece they’re filming within the book). I need to bring those locations to life. Right now, I’m focusing on plot and character and how to juggle the multiple storylines, which is taking a lot of page time. Chapter Eighteen finishes on page 409 right now, and these two Prague chapters need a lot of work. Ultimately, this will be the second volume in the series (so it will be more like page 109 in the volume,not 409)– the first will deal with auditions, the second with filming, the third with the first season, etc. I think it makes more sense for it to be a series of books rather than a serialized story, because, much as I hate to put maps and cast lists and things in, this particular piece needs it. It’s a huge ensemble, and that’s part of the point. Cutting characters and storylines rips out the heart of the piece, but, as a single piece, it’s completely unpublishable.

However, it needs to be written before it can be placed into a sensible structure and have those types of practical decisions made, and it will take a few more years to get the whole thing written. And then I need a good series title, and, within that, good individual titles. I’m already titling chapters, which is something I rarely do. It’s old-style saga set in contemporary times in an unusual environment.

But working most of the day on it has left me tired and fuzzy-headed this morning. I slept well, though, and overslept.

And I have a LOT to get done today.

I got out four proposals yesterday, so it wasn’t all fiction, but I’ve got a very long list of things that need to get knocked off TODAY. And I would be a good idea to mow the back terraced area a bit — it’s getting kind of long. But the garden looks good.

I better get to it. My head is filled with storylines and characters who want their lines. And I’ve still got to push through this difficult section on SPIRIT REPOSITORY so I can get into the home stretch. I’m hoping a day or two away, working on something else, gives me perspective. I’m paying for the fact that I’ve been working on it in spurts, rather than steadily. While that works for POWER OF WORDS, which is naturally set in sections, SPIRIT REPOSITORY is not, and the lack of discipline with it on my part has hurt the overall piece. Thank goodness for edits.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 7:06 am  Comments (2)  
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

We have heat! And the repair guys came to fix the bolt on the door in the morning (which hasn’t worked since the new doors were put in) and the intercom in the afternoon (which hasn’t worked for three years). Everyone was very nice, and each repair was done in about ten minutes. Elsa, of course, was right in the midst of everything, making new friends. If only relations with the landlords would stay pleasant, but I’m sure they’re dreaming up some fresh hell for the tenants.

In and around the repairs, I completely restructured the first section of SETTLING THE SCORE. Now, I have a series of quick scenes setting up the characters up front, once we’ve set up Lucas at the gravesite. You don’t know WHY these people are connected, but the group photo that sends Lucas on his journey is established early with the various characters who are in it, and it brings it back to being an ensemble story, my original vision, instead of simply Lucas’s story I’m tightening a lot of the scenes already there, but now, I think it has a better flow. Everyone important (hero and villain) is established early on, with the audience not entirely convinced who falls into which camp, and then we see Lucas bringing things together with the news of his father’s murder, and pieces of the ensemble’s former connection and strong emotional ties coming through. It’s less linear, but more cinematic, which, being a screenplay, matters. And I chose NOT to go with flashbacks, which I think is a stronger choice.

Should I decide to adapt the final screenplay into novel form (because, for me, where I am in my career, that would probably sell faster, unless these early summer meetings land me something quickly I don’t expect), I will go back to a more linear format.

As I moved through the material, tweaking it, I also incorporated the notes I made the other night. It will still run long, but I can then make more internal cuts and collapse dialogue and make things more specific in further rewrites.

Watched LIE TO ME last night, for the first time. Liked Tim Roth’s work a lot, on the fence about the whole show. It’s trying to masquerade as an ensemble vehicle, without making the supporting characters strong enough. Tim Roth is an interesting and inventive enough performer to deserve equal matches around him, in fact, I think it would even elevate what he’s doing, and he’s not getting the challenge. A lot of that, I think, is in the writing. I see why it’s a show on the bubble. There are some really good ideas in it, but the execution feels diluted.

This morning, I will write for an hour or so, but then I’m getting in the car and driving up to CT. I’m actually going shopping — Mercury is retrograde, and I want to see if I can pick up a few things I need. I have my tickets booked for the out of town job at the end of next week. I got a lovely orientation packet from the pottery workshop. Now that I see who’s teaching it, I am Very Intimidated. This place is for pros, not dabblers. And I’m going to find out if I really like working in clay, or if I only like the IDEA of working in clay. I’ll make my decisions from there.

I’ve already had to cancel plans to attend two writing conferences, a yoga conference, a trip to Maine, a trip to Seneca Falls,and two trips to Canada due to Elsa’s illness and the vet bills. I’d really like to participate in something fun, challenging, and unique over the next few months, but it has to be closer to home and not too expensive. We’ll see. I hate having my wings clipped.

By the way, I STILL haven’t heard from the vet. Not happy.

I’m reading a fantastic book called SPANNING TIME: A DIARY KEEPER BECOMES A WRITER by Elizabeth Yates, who won a Newbury Award in 1951. The diaries span her life as a teen in the teens to either the 40s or 50s, and show how determined she was to be a writer rather than a debutante. It’s wonderful, and it certainly makes me want to hunt down and read her other work.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Had a good afternoon’s work at the Greenwich Library. Found both what I needed and what I wanted, which is a good thing.

Only television I watched last night was HUMAN TARGET, which, I’m happy to say, I think is starting to hit its stride (spoiler alert). The supporting characters were interesting and well-written, the villain was more fleshed out than in the past episodes– and played by William Mapother, who’s probably best-known for his role as Ethan on LOST. I don’t mind knowing who the villain is from the get-go as long as the conflict between protags and villain is an interesting journey. I still would have liked to see more development in Mapother’s character — they’re able to reveal a lot in a few words for the other characters, they need to do it with the villains — but at least this time, there was a sense of actual threat in it all. No scenes with the three leads physically together this time, but the paths they were each on were interesting enough so it didn’t matter. As usual, Jackie Earle Haley’s work was outstanding — the details about where he chooses to put emphasis — the way he tossed the phone aside, or dumped the cassette to put in the other cassette,or how he leans against the car waiting for a meeting — all those details reveal a lot about character. Loved Guerrero’s tough love scene with Winston on the phone disarming the bomb — I don’t for one second believe he didn’t know which wire to cut, he simply knew how to push Winston into making the right choice. My only issue was when Guerrero shot a character first in the back near the end. Of course, actor and/or character might well retort, “I’ll shoot him anywhere I damn well need to in order to get the job done”, but to me, that was the only thing that rang a little false in the episode — although I really liked the last shot from the downed character’s POV. I’m enjoying watching the piece develop, both character-wise and structurally. I keep doing production breakdowns in my head as I watch, though, “Oh, he only had to be on set two days, tops, to do that” — that kind of thing. I find it a fun, instructive hour. Especially since I’m pitching and in meetings for various scripting jobs right now, I’m getting back into that mindset. Hmm, I wonder if that make my cable bill a tax deduction? 😉

I had weird dreams last night that woke me up, but they fled before I could get a handle on them. I did, however, have other dreams that helped me in both POWER OF WORDS and REDEMPTION KILL. I did the pages I figured out — managing to solve two plot/logicial problems in a single short scene, yay me — and am about to spend some time on REDEMPTION KILL before I go and take care of mundane things like grocery shopping.

I’m not going to be abe to attend the art opening I was invited to tomorrow night because of the weather — I hear Philly’s set to get nearly a foot of snow, and they’re waffling on how much we’re going to get, just saying it’ll be more than we got earlier in the week. Well, my larder will be full, I’ll have gotten more paper from Staples, so I can stay cozy and writing all weekend.

Sounds good to me.