You can now read more of my story “The K-Pro” on my Authonomy site. Go on over there and tell HarperCollins to publish me.
. . . what the hell is wrong with me. I’m supposed to be finishing this spec script (due to be done by the 23rd), but I just started writing a new play instead. Sigh. There’s too much going on in my head these days and not enough chances to get it all out.
So at last count I had submissions out to a lucky 13 places. One short story and the rest are play submissions. Now it’s the waiting game, which I’ve never been very good at. In the meantime, I will continue writing. Although I must admit it’s tempting to check my e-mail every five minutes or so. And then depressing to find it empty. I should stop checking. It’s only bringing my morale down.
As a tease, here’s the first part of my new story “The K-Pro.” I thought it was going to be a short story, but it’s already pushing 10k words and I’ve barely scratched the surface, so it’s starting to look more like a novella . . . Not sure it’ll get big enough to be a full on novel.
Forgive the formatting; I write for submission, meaning I use Courier and underline where a publisher would use italic.
Just as I used Ewan McGregor as my internal picture for the lead in 20 August, I’ve mentally cast Benedict Cumberbatch as David in “The K-Pro.” (Probably the reason I’ve had a couple nightmares about him; I’ve been thinking about this story for too long and need to finish it.)
I have trouble sometimes with description; I tend to slack off on that side of things because I’m a screenwriter, and we’re taught to only include details that are important to the plot–things the director and art department need to know about. Dialogue is what I’m good at, even if it’s interior dialogue. BUT . . . In “The K-Pro” I’m making a concerted effort to do better with my descriptions (without bogging things down, that is; there’s nothing I dislike more than a book that has pages of description when a paragraph would have done). It’s one of the reasons this is taking me so much longer than my usual projects do.
Deep breath, then, and onward. Hope you enjoy the tidbit!
You know you’ve been on Twitter too much when you dream in Twitter stream fashion. The first part of my dream last night had something to do with a Twitter conversation going on amongst me, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I’m sure it was all very interesting, but I can’t remember any of it.
The dream went on to being about a garden in late afternoon sunlight, me trying to find a very specific kind of flower (none were the right color, and I recall the soil being dry; the flowers looked unhealthy). And then Steven Moffat turned out to be a member of some council, and the queen or one of her chancellors was chasing people through the gardens. I don’t quite recall how this was resolved; it may have ended in us jumping into a cab.
Meanwhile, I have an idea for a new play. So now the question is whether to plow on with my current story (novella? novel?) or switch gears.
It almost sounds like a Rod Stewart song . . . Pro. Cras. Tin. A. Tion.
I’ve managed not to get any writing done today, much to my shame. Laundry, yes, and I’ve baked brownies and mailed off a couple more writing submissions, but I have not actually done any writing. The problem is I am well and truly stuck in this story, and it’s a bit like embroidery–I’m dreading having to go back and take out some of the stitches, which is what I think I’m going to have to do if I want to move forward.
It doesn’t help that I had a nightmare about being stuck in a tower with Benedict Cumberbatch. Or maybe we were at the top of a building, like a hotel or apartments or something? I don’t know, but bad dreams throw off my day. I end up restless, which makes it difficult to sit and write.
I must ruminate instead, figure out how to fix my story, and once my mind is firmly set, off I will go to write it.
So I’ve written two plays: the 10-minute “Warm Bodies” and the one-act play 20 August. That one was supposed to be two acts but it would have required a lot of padding to make it long enough and I didn’t want it to drag.
Prior to these two, I’d written scenes but never an entire play of any length. Except screenplays. I had done those and intend to do more.
So what drew me into to playwriting? Well, friends of mine asked me to try my hand at a short play for something their local community theatre was doing, a sort of directors’ workshop. “Warm Bodies” sprang from that. And I was rather pleased with the result, so I submitted “Warm Bodies” to a few other places–many of which I have yet to hear back from. But one theatre in London e-mailed me back and asked for a sample of something longer.
I had nothing longer. At least, not in terms of stage plays. SO . . . I wrote 20 August.
Apparently as far as plays go, I write on commission. Unpaid commission at that, but if something ends up produced, that wouldn’t be too terrible.
I used to be in a Shakespeare troupe, and I also did some acting in college, so at least I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the form. With my screenwriting background, and my understanding of the mechanics of a stage, I think I did all right. “Warm Bodies” has been submitted to eight different competitions now–and though it hasn’t been accepted anywhere yet, it hasn’t been rejected yet, either (though that’s just a matter of time, I’m sure)–and 20 August is being read in both London and Cardiff.
I never fancied myself a playwright, even though I have taught playwriting classes. Hmm. As Ophelia says: “We know what we are but know not what we may be.”
Dear God, I need a . . . I don’t know . . . manager? More like a commander, actually. Someone to help me form a plan of attack for all these projects.
I’ve sent “Warm Bodies” out to several competitions, so we’ll see what kind of feedback I get on that. I’d like to get 20 August to a point where it can also be sent out. Originally I thought I was going to try lengthening it to a fuller two-act play, but now I’m thinking I might just reduce it to a one-act. I don’t want to pad it too much–and to make it long enough for a typical two-act it would need a quantity of padding–else it will lag.
And then there’s “The K-Pro,” which I did work on some more this past weekend in New York but didn’t get as far as I would have liked. I know where the story is going but I’m stuck in the details of getting it there.
And gods, I need to get this spec script done!
Ducks! Ducks? Come back here, ducks! I need a row of you, right here, right now!
In a few hours I’ll be on the train to NYC. I prefer the train to flying; I like forms of travel that provide me with scenery.
Staying in the Paramount at Times Square. I haven’t stayed in this particular hotel before, but it’s supposed to be very nice, so I’m excited to give it a go. Since I’m planning on spending most of my time in the room (writing), it’s important to me it be a nice one!
I do expect I’ll need to take breaks, though. To eat at least, and to find gifts for the kids because I’ll be taken to task if I return empty handed on Sunday. Also, I’ll want to go to the Lindt store and stock up on truffles because I like to eat those while I’m writing. They’re like sweet little rewards for my hard work.
For the most part I expect to be working on my “K-Pro” story, though I may also edit 20 August a bit. I’m thinking of reducing it to a one-act play. Once it’s ready I’ll be able to send it out to competitions and such. AND . . . I’m bringing the stuff for my spec script just in case I get the urge to work on it.
Here’s hoping for a productive weekend!